By CHRIS EBERHART
In order to address deteriorating roadways within Harrison’s municipal boundaries, town officials are considering a proposal aimed at prioritizing road repairs through a pavement management system.
A town-wide road resurfacing project, which includes about 100 miles of roadway, would cost Harrison approximately $2 million, according to Town Engineer Michael Amodeo. In a March 7 letter to the Harrison Town Council, he said, each mile of work costs roughly $200,000.
Capital resurfacing allowances for the past five years average roughly $500,000 per year, which in theory would allow the town to resurface 2.5 miles of roadway per year, spreading the cost out over 40 years.
“There’s a lot of traffic on these roadways and the population is increasing and the funds that we have to maintain them are not in abundance,” Amodeo said.
In addition to the high volume of stress placed on the roadways from increased use, Councilman Fred Sciliano, a Republican, said this past winter also took its toll on the roads.
“No matter where you drive—and not just in Harrison; it’s all over—you see the amount of potholes and that’s because of the winter and the rain and the freezing temperatures from this past winter,” Sciliano said.
In order to prioritize which roadways to work on, the Engineering Department recommended the Town Council enter into an agreement with Vannasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., a planning, designing and engineering consultant, at the council’s March 20 meeting. The $39,150 contract, if approved, would allow for the development of a pavement management system, which would create a database of the town’s roadways as well as an analysis of the road conditions to help implement a repair strategy moving forward.
Councilman Sciliano believes the database would be a good tool for the town to have.
“I think it could be a good tool for us only because it gives a total evaluation of all our roadways,” Sciliano said. “And it would help us with our capital plan when we repair our roadways especially after this past winter.”
Because municipal funds are limited, Amodeo said municipalities are using pavement management systems.
A pavement management system is already in place in neighboring communities like Rye City, as of 2005, and Rye Brook, as of 2007. Rye City’s study was conducted by the same Vannasse Hangen Brustlin.
According to Rye City’s study, the pavement management system requires a four-step process.
The first of which is to identify accepted streets, which would exclude any county-owned streets, and create a roadway network. That roadway network is then broken down into pavement management sections which are then categorized, measured and recorded to determine the individual pavement distress within each section. Finally, the consulting firm customizes the repair costs through discussions with the municipality’s officials.
The town engineer said the results of the analysis will be incorporated into the town’s Graphic Information System GIS which stores geographical data that allows a municipality to visualize, question, analyze, interpret and understand data to reveal relationships, patterns and trends.
Amodeo said, Vannasse Hangen Brustlin would also teach members of the Engineering Department how to use the software so the town can then manage the database on its own moving forward.
“By using the pavement management system, we will come away with a plan and prioritization of roadways that need work,” Amodeo said. “It won’t just be each year we pick a few roads and resurface them. It’s always hard to pick which roads to resurface—the ones with the most traffic or the ones in the worst shape.”
The proposal has yet to be voted on by the Town Council.
Councilman Joseph Cannella, a Republican, and Rye City Manager Scott Pickup could not be reached for comment as of press time.