Town officials on Tuesday approved some $470,0000 to repave two New Canaan roads said to be in dire need of repair.
The milling and paving of Heather Drive and Cross Ridge Road—to be completed by Deering Construction, following a unanimous vote by the Board of Selectmen—will become the third and fourth major road works projects underway in New Canaan.
What follows are updates on all the road works, including a state project along South Avenue and widely discussed Main Street sidewalk installation.
Main Street repaving, sidewalks
Motorists traveling along Main Street have been detoured up to South Avenue this week, as workers repave and widen parts of the heavily used road and install new sidewalks on its west side, under a project by the Town Council.
Tiger Mann, assistant director and senior engineer of the town , said during an interview that officials hope the work will be completed before the Memorial Day parade, which runs from the center of town, down Main Street and into the Lakeview Cemetery near the Millport Avenue intersection. The annual parade is held on Memorial Day itself—May 28 this year. Even if the entire project isn’t completed by then, Mann said, officials should have the paving of Main Street finished at least as far as Harrison Avenue, covering the parade route.
Remaining parts of the project, Mann said, include sidewalk work in front of , now underway, work between Harrison and Woodland Avenues, street widening from Elm Place to Woodland Avenue and from the wastewater plant to Harrison Avenue.
South Avenue drainage and curbing work
Route 124 is a state road and under a project expected to wrap up some time this summer, state officials are milling, paving and installing drains along the length of South Avenue. That work will cover essentially the entire length of the thoroughfare, from the Darien line to Cherry Street, officials say.
Heather Drive and Cross Ridge Road
In what Mann described as a “perfect time to come in and repair” the roads, town officials approved $471,920.65 plus $71,000 in contingency funds for the milling and paving of Heather Drive and Cross Ridge Roads—streets located in the town’s southeast and northeast corners, respectively. The work also will include drainage, curbing and striping.
Mann noted during the Board of Selectmen’s regular meeting, held in the Board Room, that the estimate from the winning bidder came in some $110,000 less than what town officials originally had targeted, due in part to competition among contractors for scarce projects.
said New Canaan residents rank road maintenance among town government’s most important work.
“Our constituents rightly think it’s right at the top of things the town does, like schools and [emergency response],” Mallozzi said.
Responding to a question from Selectman Nick Williams about how the DPW prioritizes road work, Mann said it makes fiscal sense to try and bunch a project together so that it comes to about $1 million. That allows the town to cast its net effectively wide, Mann said, as both smaller and larger contractors will bid on jobs in that range.
Selectman Beth Jones asked whether, if the town can complete Main Street and the two road paving projects this summer, if more road work could be put out to bid in the fall. Mann said yes, as long as the town could group together enough roads to create a road project whose economies of scale work for a contractor.
Mann specifically mentioned a group of roads located off of South Avenue near the New Canaan Y: Putnam Road, Whiffle Tree Lane, Butler Lane and Conrad Road.