On last November’s ballot, residents were asked whether the town should appropriate $5 million for the Phase II Road and Related Improvements Program. More than 2,000 residents voted in favor of the appropriation, and over the next five years, several streets in town will receive priority-based improvements.
Plainville has approximately 68.4 miles worth of roadways in total, so some of the longer streets will be split into multiple sections during these paving projects. Town Manager Robert Lee said that some roads, such as Northwest Drive, will be split into three sections for planning purposes.
“The Town of Plainville has approximately 315 roads in total, those 68.4 miles is split into 331 street sections,” said Lee. “Phase one of the project tackled about 25% of Plainville’s total roadways.”
Similar to the first phase of the project, the second phase estimates that approximately $1 million will be spent each year for the next five years. But that is a rough estimate, explained roadways superintendent Dominick Moschini, who said that there were some funds leftover from phase one because it is difficult to come up with exact numbers. The funding remaining from phase one will be rolled into phase two.
Moschini said that there is currently a master list of streets that are set to be paved but the order in which those roads will receive work and other related improvements has yet to be finalized. At this time, Moschini said it’s too far out to determine whether or not there would be funds remaining at the end of phase two.
Lee said that if funds remain at the end of the five year period, then they would most likely be rolled into a sixth year, as the town intends to spend the entire appropriation. Lee also said he wouldn’t be surprised if in another five years the town put a third phase out for referendum, as phases one and two would most likely leave several roads remaining.
Before the schedule can be finalized the roadways department will need to coordinate with the water company, gas company, and sewer department to ensure that none of the construction will put existing infrastructure at risk for damage. From there, town officials and the public works department will begin to notify residents of the construction schedule.
“We try to keep people informed because we need the cooperation from the people,” said Moschini.
Once all of the preparatory work has been done for a specific street—such as the work done around a catch basin—Moschini said that the department tries to narrow and pave that street within two weeks, so that no one road is under construction for a long period of time.
According to the ordinance adopted by the town council, the appropriated funds can be used in a number of ways including: base rehabilitation and reconstruction, milling and repaving, road surface restoration, restoration of the adjacent sidewalk, landscaping restoration, and new or improved drainage as required. Funds can also be used for design, construction, acquisition, installation, right-of-way acquisition, materials, engineering fees, consultant and legal fees, repairs, or renovations.
Moschini and other officials will be meeting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9, in the Plainville Municipal Center at 1 Central Square to begin prioritizing which streets will be done in each of the years.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@PlainvilleObserver.com.