June 19, 2014TUFTONBORO — Tuftonboro's Representative Glenn Cordelli made an announcement at the June 9 Board of Selectmen's meeting that Rt. 109A/Middle Road is scheduled for paving. That was a pleasant surprise to those present.
Cordelli, who is now a member of the Lakes Region Transportation Advisory Committee, added that the project includes the road from Union Wharf to Route 28 and is expected to be completed by October.
Jim Bowles, District Construction Engineer for the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Construction, revealed in a follow up call that when it appeared that passage of the 4.2 cent per gallon gas tax was imminent, the department began preparing contracts for each of the six maintenance districts for bid.
When the gas tax increase passed (62.5 percent yay, 37.5 percent nay) the process was put in motion. A private company will be contracted to apply the 3/4 inch paver shim overlay. The bid process and final contracting should be finished in another four to five weeks.
Bowles said the project wouldn't have happened without passage of the gas tax increase. The last gas tax increase was in 1991, said Bowles, and since then, prices for materials and labor have risen. The state currently paves less that 20 lane miles per year, a marked decline from the 80 lane miles per year of the nineties.
Invited to speak to the board with Representatives Ted Wright and Karel Crawford about road issues during the April 7 meeting, Cordelli pledged to vote no on the increase and was true to his word. Representatives Ted Wright and Karel Crawford also voted no, as did State Senator Jeb Bradley.
The passage of SB387 paves the way for the oft-requested improvements to Route 109A. Cordelli told the Tuftonboro board on June 9 that he is committed to seeing that dollars for road improvements are spent north of Concord.