By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — A management program in town is putting certain roads on a priority list for maintenance and paving projects.
Public Works director Mike Fowler told town councilors at a meeting Sept. 17 that Derry’s Roadway Management Program is a good way for the town to assess its roads and make decisions on when and how to get paving done.
The plan includes a pavement management overview, showing all the different types of pavement repair that can be done to roads, depending on the condition and any structural damage.
Fowler said the town does a survey of its roads every three years to see what work should come first in the fiscal year budget process.
That includes how much the work will cost.
“There are roadway stresses we see at various times,” Fowler said.
Some of those stresses are put into categories, including rutting, certain types of cracking, and more serious damage needing paving attention.
The town spends approximately $1.2 million annually on road projects.
“This is about applying the right treatment on the right road at the right time,” Fowler said.
He said treatment costs can vary and consideration is given to more deficient roads.
Many road conditions need to be caught early on, Fowler said. Other times roads can get improvements to keep them in acceptable condition for many more years. Fowler said the town’s paving season is a short one, ending usually in late October. Paving work would then stop for the winter and begin again in the spring.
Councilors got a look at lists of roads that are earmarked for work in the next few years.
Fowler said the list is subject to change.
He said Derry is doing a good job budgeting each year to handle road repairs that come up. It’s good management for both the wallet and the roads, he said.
“This is just a snapshot of what we do,” Fowler said. “I think the town of Derry is well served by this project. It’s a very good situation with a predictable level of funding.”