City of Gardner Public Works Dept. Announces This Year’s Paving List
City funds over $480,000 in addition to over $600,000 in Ch. 90 funding granted from State.
GARDNER- May 27, 2021 - Mayor Mike Nicholson and the Public Works Dept. have announced that it is planning on paving the following streets this season. They are as follows:
City Hall Ave
City Hall Ave
Jackson Hill Rd
City Hall Ave
West Lynde Street
Betty Spring Rd.
Betty Spring Rd.
Bear Hill Road
Bickford Hill Road
Top of Hill
off Parker St.
Of the streets listed above, Industrial Rowe will be paved with a top coat of asphalt. Teaberry Lane, Lawrence Street, and Bickford Hill Road will be milled and have a full new layer of pavement added. The remainder of the roads listed will be completely removed and two full coats of pavement installed.
Mayor Nicholson is happy to announce that this is the largest paving roster that the City has undertaken since 1998. The City of Gardner contains 100 miles of roads it must maintain. Roads are selected based on several factors, among them traffic volume and current condition.
“I am very happy to see the infrastructure improvements that we have continued to make in the City during the past year,” said Mayor Nicholson. “The more we invest in ourselves, the more we give others a reason to invest in us.”
Aside from general road paving, work is expected to be done in other areas of the City as well. New basketball courts and a walking trail were recently paved at Ovila Case Park off of Norman Street and crews will be installing a new water main line on Pearl Street from Chapel Street to Pearly Lane, through the Route 140 – Route 101 intersection. Some paving work is still temporarily delayed until work being performed to upgrade the North Central Correctional Institution Pump Station is completed. Once this work is completed, Chapel Street from Willis Road to the dead end, and Willis Road from Chapel Street to Brook Lane will be paved.
While this year’s efforts are indeed ambitious, the Mayor admits there are additional roads in the City that also need to be paved. “Everyone wants their street to be done, and we never have the funding to fully do what we’d hope to” Mayor Nicholson stated. In particular, the City is looking at ways to eventually pave the streets that have recently been converted to gravel roads. These include Kelton, Stone, Wheeler, and Raymond Streets. While the City was unable to afford paving these streets this year, the Department of Public Works will be putting down a layer of a liquid calcium chloride solution to help keep the dust down.
“City Councilors regularly receive requests from citizens regarding road repairs throughout the City. Mayor Nicholson and DPW Director Arnold consider those requests before finalizing the paving list each year. Most roads in Massachusetts are maintained by cities and towns, and it is an impossible situation for them to resurface their roads on a consistent basis,” said City Council President Elizabeth Kazinskas. “Gardner is no exception, as we have over 110 miles of roads in the City and we usually receive enough money from Chapter 90 to pave less than one mile of road. We add as much of our tax money for additional road resurfacing as we can spare from our City Budget, which is usually a small amount because we also need to fund schools, fire, police, DPW, parks, playgrounds, etc. With all things considered, our City meets road resurfacing challenges as best we can and within our means to do so. I am glad to see the investment we are able to make in our City’s road resurfacing projects again this year.”
“Any of the unused funding we receive for paving, both from the State with Chapter 90 funding and allocations provided by the City roll over from year to year,” said Nicholson. “This year, we received $612,492 in Chapter 90 funding.” Due to the complications presented by the pandemic, paving projects started late last year, which resulted in $359,491 being encumbered from last year’s funding. This resulted in a total of $971,983 in state provided funding for road/sidewalk resurfacing and repair available for this year’s projects.
In addition to the Chapter 90 funding, the City also budgeted a total of $480,194 from Free Cash to provide additional funding for road resurfacing and repair. On the City side, approximately $1 million of the $11 million water enterprise loan is being used for infrastructure improvement projects such as repaving roads on streets where new water lines are being installed.
The Massachusetts Dept. of Transportation operates the Chapter 90 program which reimburses cities and towns with infrastructure projects such as road paving and sidewalk repair. Municipalities are awarded funding by a predetermined formula based on population, mileage of roads, and employment. The cost to repave one mile of roadway is approximately $1,000,000.