Work to resurface several Hyde Park town roads is underway, and more is slated for later this month.
On Aug. 26 members of the Hyde Park highway department began paving large patches of Centerville Road. That work was expected to take one day, according to Town Administrator Ron Rodjenski; Tuesday the highway crew was scheduled to begin similar patch paving along larger sections of Center Road.
The more extensive Center Road work was expected to take several days, and continued into this week. The work is expected to wrap up by the weekend; while it continues to take place the road will be sporadically shut down in the areas being paved.
“If the road’s closed, that’s why,” Rodjenski said.
The paving on Center and Centerville roads is a temporary fix, Rodjenski said. A more permanent one is planned for East Main Street this year, and the select board is currently considering a major, more permanent overhaul of Center Road as soon as next year.
On Monday, Aug. 19 highway foreman Mark French presented the board with an estimate of what that permanent fix could cost — approximately $925,000. The early plans for Center Road, which is failing after an experimental resurfacing earlier this decade didn’t pan out, includes a new coat of pavement along the entire length of the road.
“Paving costs are easy to calculate,” Rodjenski said, but there is still some uncertainty about the cost of the project, and its scope, because up to 29 culverts likely need to be replaced.
“With culverts, there’s a little more variable,” he said. “It depends how deep they are, how long they are.”
The select board has asked French to work with contractors to nail down a more accurate cost to replace each specific culvert and to bring that figure back to a board meeting later this fall.
“We’re not sure we will have it for the September meeting, but we’re working on it,” Rodjenski said.
Also at its Aug. 19 meeting, the board approved an $85,000 contract with J. Hutchins Inc. to resurface the entire length of East Main Street, from the intersection with Route 15 to Hyde Park Elementary School. That road, like Center Road, is failing and will be resurfaced with a one-inch shim coat and a one-and-a-half inch overlay coat beginning sometime this month, Rodjenski said.
Hutchins recently repaved Church Street for the town, and was the low bidder for the East Main Street job last fall; the project was delayed, though, and the board reaffirmed the contract last Monday.
Hyde Park regularly budgets $225,000 per year on paving, Rodjenski said. That money will cover the cost of the East Main Street work and the shim coat and patches laid down on Center and Centerville roads.
“Those roads are failing. This is just a barebones shim,” Rodjenski said. “We’re just trying to get them up to snuff,” for the coming winter, he added. Ideally, he’s hoping to get the larger project to rehabilitate Center Road rolling next summer.
Other work includes brush cutting between Monday, Sept. 16 and Friday, Sept. 27 on the sides of Center, Centerville, Cleveland Corners and Davis Hill roads.
Other board business
• The board OKed a letter of support for the local Vermont ATV Sportsman's Association chapter as part of that group’s application to allow an ATV trail crossing of Route 100 near Grimes Road.
If the Vermont Agency of Transportation permits the crossing it would allow ATV riders to travel from Wolcott to Johnson and back on one long, interconnected series of trails and dirt roads.
Hyde Park, Johnson and Wolcott are among a growing number of towns that allow registered ATVs on at least some town highways.
• The board is continuing to review and finalize a memorandum of understanding between Hyde Park and Eden to operate and fund the North Hyde Park/Eden Fire Department. Town officials in Eden and Hyde Park are working with the fire department and the local water district to codify the agreement between all parties to continue operating and supporting the department.
“We’re just memorializing what’s been going on for a number of years,” Rodjenski said. In the past the two towns have split the cost of operating the department, and split any profits, such as the sale of equipment.
“We’re trying to summarize it and get it nailed down in one document,” Rodjenski said. The Eden Select Board is also reviewing the agreement, he said, and he expects the Hyde Park board will take the matter up again at its Sept. 16 meeting.
• As part of the ongoing Better Connections study, the board is mulling changes to the intersection of Depot, Eden, Main and East Main streets. Actually realigning the intersection isn’t possible due to how its laid out, the grade of the road and the presence of underground water and sewage lines, Rodjenski said, so a four-way stop and more signs and other traffic control devices could be used to make the intersection safer.
The proposed changes will be discussed at a Sept. 10 meeting that will also consist of a final report about the larger Better Connections study. The meeting will be held in the downstairs meeting room of the municipal building on Route 15 between 4 and 6 p.m.
• The town is searching for volunteers who could help build Hyde Park’s pocket park near the Lamoille County Courthouse later this fall. A date for construction hasn’t been selected, Rodjenski said, but anyone interested in pitching in can contact him at 888-2300 or email@example.com.