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Ambitious Clarkstown Highway Department Program Shared (VIDEO)

Highway superintendent requests additional funds for road resurfacing, drainage, curbs and equipment

 

Clarkstown Highway Superintendent Wayne Ballard presented the town board with  $3.5 million of allocations for paving, concrete and equipment for 2012.  At Tuesday’s workshop Ballard outlined the problems with some of the 1,269 roads within the town that cover about 287 miles.  Conditions range from resurfacing needs to more extensive improvements requiring installation of pipes and catch basins and new curbs. 

“I think we’re faring pretty good compared to other communities,” he said, adding that money needs to be invested to maintain roads. 

Ballard said roads typically fail because they are poorly built or from fatigue caused by heavy usage.  The average lifespan of a road is 15 to 20 years. He said most roads in Clarkstown have low daily traffic counts and are expected to have lifespans of 20 years. 

Since Clarkstown began an asphalt-resurfacing program in 1998 it has completed 832 roads. That two-thirds of the town’s named roads translates to about 190 miles.

Supervisor Alex Gromack read the list of proposed funding allocations that added up to more than $3 million: 

  • $400,000 in the budget for resurfacing
  • $632,475 reimbursement from FEMA for hurricane cleanup that will be used for resurfacing
  • $220,000 from the highway surplus fund for roads and drainage
  • $1,039,000 in bonding for resurfacing and drainage
  • $561,000 in bonding for three trucks and OSHA equipment
  • $630,000 from highway surplus fund for pipes, curbs, fees and roads

When Council member Frank Borelli questioned whether the $632,475 from FEMA was actually being allocated twice in the proposal, Ballard said he would review that with the town's finance director.  

Ballard said he hopes the board will vote on the requests at the next town board meeting on April 17.

Ballard said the 2012 road resurfacing list includes the following New City streets: Marcia Lane, West Burda Place, West Clarkstown Road from the Palisades Interstate Parkway to New Clarkstown Road, Arcadia Drive, Burda Ave, Dalewood Court, Hearth Court and Pine Street Extension. Areas scheduled for road and drainage work include Sunset View Drive in Central Nyack and Brookline Way in New City. He said other roads throughout the town will be resurfaced and there are some not on his department’s list because they are part of bigger town projects in Valley Cottage and Central Nyack.

Ballard gave the board a 74-page plan explaining how his department determines what type of work needs to take place, outlining the proposed work for 2012, projects under consideration for 2013 funding, and lists of requests from residents. The department has received 504 submissions for road resurfacing, 40 for pipe work and 159 for catch basin repairs.

He explained some of the department’s processes and why certain work was necessary. The superintendent said deteriorating curbs can only be replaced with the same type of material. Asphalt berm must be replaced with asphalt, concrete with concrete and Belgian Block with Belgian Block.  

Ballard noted catch basins should be installed every 350 feet to help prolong the life of a road.   He said double the currently appropriated amount of $120,000 is needed for concrete work. 

He said some of the problems with the town’s roads occurred because the prior highway superintendent used “micro paving,” which is different than resurfacing. He described micro paving as being “like painting the road,” with a lifespan of five years. 

He requested $561,000 from bonding for three new multi-purpose plow trucks and equipment required by OSHA (the federal Occupational Health & Safety Administration).  The trucks, which would cost $540,000, will be used to plow snow and have wings to clear sidewalks.  Additionally they would be used to spread salt and collect leaves.  The additional $21,000 would be used for the OSHA purchase.

When asked about excess funds from the mild winter, Ballard said even though money remains in the snowplowing and overtime accounts those funds cannot be transferred to other accounts. The ’s 2012 budget is $14.2 million. 

Ballard thought being asked to give the presentation was a great opportunity to fully explain to the board and the public the responsibilities and capabilities of his department.

“I’ve been highway superintendent for 14years,” he said. “This is the first time it’s been asked of me.”

j schierlitz April 07, 2012 at 05:15 PM
The "bigger town projects" referred to in your article no doubt include the work being done on Route 59 between the Palisades Mall and Crosfield Road. Can you tell me what exactly is being done here and how long it is expected to take?

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