Salem selectmen OK changes to 10-year road plan
SALEM — The Board of Selectmen put its seal of approval on a 10-year road program update by the Town-Wide Road Stabilization Committee.
The plan was created by the committee in 2009 and is updated periodically to meet the town’s construction and funding requirements. Last year the plan was budgeted at $5.25 million, but selectmen adjusted the amount to $4.65 million for this year’s budget. The board also specified that the plan would not contain bonding except for projects on Route 28.
Director of Engineering Robert Puff said the committee was able to modify the construction schedule to make up for the $600,000 funding reduction. As a result, some road reconstruction planned for the latter part of the plan was pushed out beyond the 10-year window, Puff said. Maintenance schedules remain untouched, Puff said.
The committee also recommended a $12 million bond be added to the plan around 2018 to cover the cost of anticipated road reconstruction and updated utilities on a town-controlled portion of Route 28.
“We basically painted a year-by-year picture that covers 10 years and that was part of the 10-year window,” Puff said.
The plan is a guideline for the town to follow. Priorities may change as the economic climate improves or road conditions change, Puff said.
Selectman Michael Lyons said he would have liked to stay with the $5.25 million plan.
“We’re kicking the can down the road every time we say we want to take a piece of it,” Lyons said.
Haverhill Road has been deferred for some time, as has work in the Canobie area, Lyons said.
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Julie Hanson may be reached at Jhanson@newstote.com.
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