The Town's worst roads fall under the category of road reclamation. These are very large and very expensive projects and take several years to adequately plan and implement. The first step is to design the roads. DPW utilizes our in-house engineering staff and the Town's Geographic Information System (GIS) and survey equipment. Occasionally a licensed land surveyor is hired to delineate the property lines for the project. The drainage system and any changes to the roadway alignment are designed and efforts are made to correct any known maintenance problems such as icing or sight distance.
DPW then works with the abutting residents to obtain any needed easements and address any homeowner's concerns. Once the design is complete a public informational meeting is typically held and all residents within the project limits are invited to attend and ask questions.
The first step in the reclamation process is to install the drainage. DPW also works closely with the water and sewer utilities to correct any defects in those systems at that time, so the roads will not be dug up after reconstruction.
When all the underground work is complete the old pavement is reclaimed (ground) with the underlying gravels to form a new base material. This reclaimed asphalt gravel makes an excellent road base. If the underlying soils are really poor then the reclaimed gravel is removed to place a geotextile fabric between the poor soils and the reclaimed gravel. This will help distribute the traffic load more effectively and extend the life of the pavement. Once the reclaimed material is graded a couple of inches of new crushed gravel is added if needed. This provides a very uniform surface and will minimize how much expensive asphalt is placed. The base course of asphalt is then laid over the gravel. This 2 ½ inch layer is the load-carrying layer of asphalt. Existing drainage structures are then brought up to grade, driveway aprons are tied in, shoulders are graveled and loam and seeding are done. The new road will stay like this through one freeze/thaw cycle to ensure that all the problems with the road have been addressed. The following season the 1 ½ inch wear course of asphalt is placed to seal the finished road and provide a smooth maintainable surface.