Higher fuel costs force city to curtail summer paving
By David Skolnick
The increased costs for petroleum and diesel fuel are causing the city to scale back its summer paving program.
The city is having 58 streets, largely in residential areas, paved at a cost of $1,305,219. The streets are equivalent to 23 lane miles, said Charles Shasho, deputy director of the city’s public- works department. A lane mile is one mile long and 12 feet wide.
In comparison, the city spent $1,425,842 in 2011 to pave 71 streets, equivalent to 26 lane miles, and $1,454,408 in 2010 to pave 80 streets; equivalent to 29.2 lane miles.
“In an ideal world, I’d like to see triple [the amount of streets paved], but, obviously, that’s not reality,” Shasho said. “We have a good database of streets that need to be paved. Unfortunately, we can’t do all of them. The costs of petroleum [a key component of asphalt] and fuel for trucks continue to go up.”
The paving work will begin by the end of this month and be finished by mid-August, he said.
The streets selected to be paved typically come from citizen complaints to city council members and city workers, Shasho said.
Public-works employees rate streets based on their condition, such as cracks, potholes, uneven paving and wear-and-tear, he said.
The city does not take into account the last time a street was paved when deciding which ones make the list, Shasho said.
“We’re not on a four-year cycle” for streets, he said. “If the street doesn’t need to be paved, I don’t care if it hasn’t been paved in 100 years as long as it’s in good shape.”
Diorio Paving of Girard submitted the least expensive price for the work beating out two other companies. Diorio handled the city summer paving work in 2010.
Most of the money for the paving will come from a federal Community Development Block Grant and the city’s $5 motor vehicle license-tax fund. About $100,000 will come from the city’s water budget.