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Durham confronts aging culverts

Durham confronts aging culverts

reporter photo

In a Tuesday, Nov. 6 referendum, residents will vote on whether to appropriate more than $2 million by general obligation bond for road culvert replacement work in Durham. 

In a special town meeting Monday, voters approved a motion to set the date and time for the referendum, after discussing the resolution for the road culvert replacement work associated with Indian Lane, Bear Rock Road, Haddam Quarter Road, Seward Road and Cream Pot Road and pavement work in the Dinatale subdivision. 

“These are projects that need to be done. If it's not funded in this fashion, it will be funded some other way, but these particular culverts need to be done,” First Selectman Laura Francis said at the meeting. 

Replacement of these culverts was first deemed necessary about eight years ago, said Public Works Road Foreman John Jenkins. 

During last year’s budget process, the Board of Finance, along with the Board of Selectmen, determined that financing through general obligation bonds would be most effective.

Bonding would not exceed the amount of $2.1 million.

Francis said that all the culverts included in the resolution are made of some kind of corrugated metal and are exceeding their life expectancy, as some are decades old. Each will be replaced with twin precast box culverts, except in Seward Road, where current twin asphalt corrugated metal pipes will be replaced with twin plastic pipes. 

The Indian Lane road culvert replacement will be eligible to apply for the Connecticut Local Bridge Program, which would reimburse the town 50 percent of that project.

All the roads are still passable, according to Jenkins. However, several are utilizing road plates to help stabilize them. 

The Dinatale subdivision will be a full-depth reclaim pavement project, which will put it back in the shape it was when brand new, Jenkins said. It is estimated to cost about $650,000 and Francis said some money has been saved in reserves. 

“For some reason the roads in that subdivision just haven't held up as well as other newer subdivision roads and it was determined that we need to fully replace those roads,” Francis said. 

Voters at the town meeting also approved the transfer of $210,000 to the Town Engineer for the the purpose of “engineering for major culvert projects.”
Twitter: @baileyfaywright