With delays holding up the planned sidewalks on Main Street, the Department of Public Works has decided to fast-track a number of roads from the backlog of the Pavement Management and Improvement Program. Assistant Director of Public Works Tiger Mann addressed the plan to mill and pave nine roads now through Dec. 15 at Tuesday's Board of Selectmen meeting.

"We were asked to bring some roads from the 2012 and 2013 listing forward, especially considering the project we had slated for September issue was the Main Street project and that is still being designed so we have an open window of opportunity," Mann said. "We don't have a shortage of roads in our backlog, so to speak. So Mose [Saccary, New Canaan Highway Department superintendent of operations] and I went out and evaluated the roads we had on our 2012 list and roads we had on our 2013 and 2014 backlog. We put together an estimate for nine of those roads."

The roads mentioned include Canoe Hill Road (from Route 106 to Ferris Hill Road), Hawks Hill Road, Michigan Road (from Summersweet lane to Lukes Woods Road), Nubel Lane, Turner Hill Road, Cherry Street (from East Avenue to Locust Avenue), East Maple Street, Riverbank Court and Rural Drive. The estimated cost, including the 15 percent contingency, $1.1 million, which is available in the $4 million bond issued earlier this year.

Mann said the road project will not affect Main Street, which they will still be able to complete this year if the town decides to move forward with it before the end of the season Dec. 15.

"I had asked Tiger to look at this as an option for two reasons," First Selectman Jeb Walker said. "One was concern about the delay of Main Street taking us into the winter and nothing gets done. Secondly, you're probably aware of oil prices being down to $90 a barrel now which will affect the price of asphalt. So it's an opportune time to move forward with the pavement management program."

Mann will put the roads out to bid next Thursday.

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"They need approximately 45 to 60 days to complete the work. So it would likely have an Oct. 1 start," Mann said.

Mann said the reason these roads were chosen as opposed to other ones on the backlog had to do with ease of construction and their severity. The roads on the list need to be milled and paved as opposed to reclaimed, which involves more exhaustive reconstruction he said. They will not have to go into the base of these roads, which is normally affected by the weather. However, he added that the selected roads should be done sooner rather than later because waiting a year could deteriorate the roads even further, costing more money in the long run.

"Each one of them is a mill and pave. And the longer you wait on a mill and pave they drop into reclaim and pave, which is a lot more expensive," Mann said. "So we were able to slide in two or three mill and pave roads for the cost of one reclaim and pave road. So it is more beneficial to do the mill and pave now and then wait on the reclaim."

Selectman Sally Hines commended Mann's decision making on the issue in order to get some more things done as opposed to getting nothing done.

"That's important in case residents of roads that are not being bumped up don't understand why," Hines said. "So it's good to understand that."

All other paving projects for 2011 have been completed besides Old Norwalk Road and Main Street. With those two roads caught up in a design study concerning sidewalks and a decision by the Town Council, Public Works now has the time to get these nine roads fixed within the next few months before winter hits New Canaan once again.