Gloversville green-lights road work

GLOVERSVILLE – The Common Council on Tuesday advised Department of Public Works Director Kevin Jones to move forward with the 2014 paving plan that would improve the surface of 23 sections of roadway throughout the city.

The city had to change its paving system this year due to a new mandate within the annual Consolidated Highway Improvement Program funding.

Jones said the state transferred the responsibility of administering the CHIPs funding from the state Department of Transportation and Thruway Authority to the state Comptroller’s Office, which has added new guidelines and regulations.

The new guidelines require any resurfacing project that alters the highway to abide with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Every street corner the improvements pass, the sidewalks will need to be modified to meet the current ADA requirements.

Jones said as a result, the city would need to alter the four sidewalks and curbing at every intersection to make them handicapped accessible, which ultimately would have cut the number of streets it could repair roughly in half. After paving 14 streets in 2013, the city was looking at only doing about five because of the sidewalk requirement.

He said the city’s previous approach of milling and filling would be considered altering the roadway, but there is an exception the city will use instead.

The exception allows roadways to receive surface treatments consisting of oil and stone. He said oil and stone treatment is more economical compared to the price of asphalt, but it does create a messy situation for road crews and drivers.

Jones said because of the economics of this alternative, the city can get “more bang for their buck.”

Last year, he said, the city received about $360,000 in CHIPS funding, and paved 14 city streets across all six wards.

This year, he said, the estimated cost of the project will be around $357,300 and will allow the city to treat 23 sections of road.

He said because this work would be done through state contract, it wouldn’t have to go out to bid going forward. Jones expects residents to see the work begin around August.

If this alternative provides positive results, Jones said, the city would be able to treat every city street on a 10-year cycle, compared to the previous method where some streets went 50 years without being improved.

“We can cover a lot more ground and get to a lot of road we wouldn’t have been able to in the past,” Jones said. “If we like it, we could touch each street in the city about every 10 years.”