CAPE ELIZABETH – Following acceptance of a 27-page “pavement management plan” Monday, the Cape Elizabeth Town Council approved a prioritized list that lays out $4.24 million in work to be done over the next six years.

While most of the paving, drainage and reconstruction jobs will be done with money appropriated during the annual budgeting process, including the $524,000 to be spent next year, the plan includes borrowing $1.15 million for projects to be completed in 2017 and 2019.

According to a July 22 report prepared by Gray-based Gorrill-Palmer Consulting Engineers for about $11,000, Cape Elizabeth has 62.3 miles of road, of which 81 percent are currently in good or better condition. That means they scored at least 3.21 on a 0-to-5 pavement-condition scale developed by the Maine Department of Transportation.

However, according to Tom Gorrill, only 14 percent of Cape roads will retain that rating through 2016 without regular maintenance.

“What you want to be doing is to try and overlay that roadway with new pavement at the right time,” he said. “If you don’t overlay at the right time, but maybe wait a year, it’s not going to be nearly as effective.

“I think we’ve all seen roadways get overlayed where we know the cracks are just going to come back up through,” said Gorrill. “It looks great for awhile, maybe three or four years, but it’s not a good use of the dollar. Eventually, it needs rehabilitation, or reconstruction.”

Based on factors such as pavement cracking, edge crumbling, load rutting, general distortion and patching, observed in 100-foot sections every quarter-mile on shorter roads, and every half-mile on longer ones, Cape has just seven roads with a poor 2.4 rating, or less. Those roads, the bad sections of which all measure less than 500 feet, “are in obvious need of improvement,” said Gorrill.

Roads with the poorest ratings include Sea Barn Road (score of 2.4), Geldert Road (2.4), Dennison Drive (2.4), Harrison Road, (2.2), Silva Road, (2.1), Friar Road (2.1) and Balsam Road (1.8).

“Most of our residential streets are in pretty good shape,” said Town Manager Michael McGovern. “Where we’re having a more difficult time is with the major roads the Fowlers and the Ocean Houses.”

In fact, 50 Cape roads carry the top 5.0 rating. However, according to Gorrill, those roads will rate no better than 3.3 by 2016 without future overlays, based on current traffic patterns. He recommended the town shim and overlay the 15 miles of fair-to-good roads in Cape, rated from 2.41 to 3.20, between now and 2015, at a current estimated cost of $2.25 million. The 7.3 miles of road needing “mill and fill” reconstruction, all rated between 2.01 and 3.20, should be done “when funding is available,” said Gorrill. That work would cost $1.14 million today. Also to be done when the money can be had is the .37 miles of road requiring complete reconstruction, rated 2.0 or less, at a cost of $285,294.

Gorrell said 4.91 miles of good road, rated between 3.21 and 3.60, should get an overlay of pavement within the next five to seven years, at a current cost of $447,670, while the 34.71 miles of road in very good condition, rated 3.61 to 5.0, should be overlaid within eight to 10 years, work that would cost $3.35 million in 2013 dollars. In all, Gorrill said, it would take $7.49 million to bring every Cape Elizabeth road to tip-top shape.

According to Public Works Director Bob Malley, the order in which roads will be repaired and maintained depends on more than Gorrill’s raw rating. One factor, he said, is the proximity of roads in need of similar work.

“Every time we have to pick up our paving equipment to move it, that costs us money,” he said.

Work for next year includes $524,000 worth of paving on Sawyer Road, Shore Road and Spurwink Avenue.

Paving projects slated for 2015 include work to Fowler Road (rated 2.8), Spurwink Avenue from Route 77 to the South Portland line (rated 3.0), Charles E. Jordan Road (rated 2.8), and 100 feet of Route 77 at the urban compact line (rated 1.6), along with 500 feet of other roads and “miscellaneous drainage work,” all at an estimated cost of $712,000. Of that, $397,000 is due to be included in that year’s capital improvements budget, while $315,000 is designated for funding from “other” revenue streams.

Projects for 2016 include a large “mill and fill” on Old Ocean House Road (rated 3.0), plus paving a smaller 700-foot section of Hill Way and other minor overlay and drainage work. The entire $435,000 cost is expected to come from the capital improvements budget.

In 2017, work will take place on Wells Road (rated 3.0), Scott Dyer Road (rated 3.3) and Route 77, from the Inn By the Sea to Breakwater Farm Road (rated 3.1). With other minor projects, the total cost should run to $745,000, of which $300,000 will be bonded.

More roads currently boasting high marks are due for work in 2018. They include Eastman Road (rated 3.3), Fessenden Road (rated 3.4) and Two Lights Road (rated 3.3). That and other small jobs should cost $470,000, all taken from the annual capital improvements budget.

Finally, 2019 will be a big year, with $1.35 million worth of work on the docket. On tap will be Route 77 from Breakwater Farm Road to the Scarborough line (rated 3.6), Mitchell Road (rated 3.5), Broad Cove Road (rated 3.5) and Shore Road (parts of which are currently rated between 3.5 and 4.2). The $850,000 needed for the Mitchell Road and Shore Road projects will be borrowed, while the rest will be included in the annual capital improvements budget.

McGovern said the roads slated for work edged out ones scored less by Gorrill because they are collector roads, defined by MDOT as ones that link local streets to the larger arterial network.

“We believe this plan is doable and our strong sense is that people want the collector roads to be in good, safe, passable condition,” he said, “and some of them are deteriorating at this point.”


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