YORK, Maine — Local leaders once again discussed road-paving plans during Monday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, as the town begins looking ahead to drafting its next five-year maintenance and repair plan.
Department of Public Works Director Dean Lessard walked the board through the 2016 mapping of all York streets, with a color-coded map that appears on the town’s website. The map was created by StreetScan to provide "an accurate and objective picture of the conditions of all the roads in town," and it helps DPW to prioritize the ones most in need of repair, Lessard said last year.
Roads that are in good shape are depicted in green, those in need of some improvement are yellow, and those that most need repair are red, Lessard explained.
"A lot of the roads that were red in 2016 are done or will be done soon," he said, adding that most of the roads that were yellow in 2016 have also been completed or are projected to be completed in the five-year plan created in 2016.
"The major roads are in good shape," Lessard said.
The town is not fully responsible for state roads like York Street, Long Beach Avenue, Main Street and Long Sands Road, but since these are main thoroughfares, "we’ve chosen not to wait for Maine DOT to come pave them, and we pave them," Lessard said.
Selectman Mike Estes asked why York should pay to pave a road that is the state’s responsibility. Town Manager Steve Burns said the state "doesn’t have nearly enough money to pave all the roads they’re responsible for."
"What they do," Burns said, "is they just don’t pave their roads in the urban compact, knowing that the communities will not tolerate bumpy main streets."
"Every one of the urban compact communities knows we have to pave those roads because the state won’t get to it. They will outlast us. In essence, it’s a game of chicken over customer satisfaction," Burns said.
Board member Marilyn McLaughlin asked specifically about Cape Neddick’s North Village Road and Berwick Road, also known as Ogunquit Road. Lessard pointed out that both roads were designated in 2016 as green, with scores in the 71-85 grade range. While they may have been at the low end of the green rating, Lessard noted that since the survey was done, most of those roads have been crack-sealed to prepare for future paving projects.
In response to McLaughlin’s request for an update from the 2016 mapping, Lessard said he would bring a StreetScan representative to a future meeting to present data from the most recent scan, performed in October 2019. According to Lessard, this data will be used to see "what got better, what got worse, in order to revise our future five-year plan."
The Town of York Pavement Condition Index Map can be found on the town’s website: bit.ly/YorkArcGIS .