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2021 road plan moving forward


February 24, 2021
The selectmen approved the 2021 road plan, and a five-year plan is in the works, including maintaining good roads and using some new materials.

Public Works Director Meghan Theriault presented the proposed rod plan to the board during the Feb. 10 meeting.

Theriault said the department used data from the Lakes Region Planning Commission and combined that with several road inspections to come up with a road plan for 2021 as well as a five-year plan.

Theriault said the plan is a combination keeping the good roads good, addressing issues on roads that need a little more work, and reclaiming failed roads. She said this kind of plan is better than just focusing on failed roads. Reclaiming a mile of road costs around $650,000 while a shim and overlay costs around $140,000 and an asphalt rubber seal costs $60,000.

"You can do four times as many overlays as you can a reclaim, so you want to kind of do a combination of work because if we only dealt with those worst first roads, we're going to have four roads on our list every year instead of 20," Theriault said.

Gilford will also be adding a new sealing technique called Stress Adjusted Membrane (SAM) Sealing to the road plan. SAM Sealing uses a precoated mix of asphalt with recycled tires to help seal the road. This technique reduces cracks and can help roads stay good for another 10 years. Theriault said the state has been using this material as have communities such as Manchester, Goffstown, and locally Meredith, Belmont, and Moultonborough.

"I'm definitely interested to try it," Theriault said. "We'll do it on a few roads and see how we like it."

Theriault said the material does have its pros and cons. It will give the roads a bit more texture, which can also help with traction in the winter.

Some roads being sealed in general might need some culvert work as well and Theriault said they will be inspecting the pipes and determining what needs to be done.

The 2021 plan carries a proposed cost of $1.75 million. The five-year plan is based on this year's road plan and assumes a five percent cost escalation for the next few years. Theriault said this plan is flexible and is meant to be a guide.

Board chair Chan Eddy said this is a situation of "you can pay me now or you can pay me later" and said he would prefer to keep good pavement lasting much longer.

The board unanimously approved the 2021 road plan as presented. Theriault and Town Administrator Scott Dunn said the five-year plan was in the works and subject to some tweaks before being finalized and would come to the board at a later time.

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