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Oyster Bay to survey, rate conditions on its 707 miles of roads

Joyce Road in Plainview, as seen on Friday

Joyce Road in Plainview, as seen on Friday March 9, 2018. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Oyster Bay’s 707 miles of streets will be rated on a scale of one to 10 in the town’s first comprehensive assessment of road conditions since 2004.

The town board last month approved the assessment plan that will create a web-based application so that users will be able to find data on the condition of town roads at any address or intersection in town. The system will be used internally and will not be public, a town spokesman said.

Weather permitting, Syosset-based LiRo Engineers Inc. will send two teams to begin driving over every mile of town roads next week to collect data.

“It will give the town an overall view of the conditions of their roads on a real detailed basis, a block-by-block basis,” said LiRo engineer John Waltz in an interview. “It will allow them to come up with a plan to manage their pavements.”

The teams will collect information using GPS-enabled devices and feed the data to the town Graphical Information System database. GIS is a system used to create maps with multiple layers of data and is widely used by municipal governments.

Waltz said the newer technology will replace “bulky paper tables” of the road conditions that were created for the previous assessment. The rating system to be used is the same the New York State Department of Transportation uses to assess pavement surface conditions, Waltz said.

“You can see very quickly where your good roads are and where your not so good roads are,” Waltz said.

Last month the town board authorized paying LiRo up to $224,500 to complete the assessment that Waltz said will include six to eight weeks of collecting data on the roads.

“It’s no secret that almost all of our roads have to be resurfaced, but there are some that are worse than others and hopefully with this road assessment we’ll be able to get to them sooner rather than later,” Oyster Bay Councilman Anthony Macagnone said.

Macagnone said he’d like to see the town’s sanitation and highway department staff be trained to do assessments because “they’re on the roads all day.”

The town’s long-term plans for road repair are unclear. LiRo’s assessment will include a proposal for maintaining pavement, but the town board did not include a capital plan in its 2018 budget. A bond offering document this year didn’t include estimates for highway spending as the town had in the past.

Larry Weiss, 65, the owner of a telecom company in Plainview, said some roads in the hamlet were patched after he met with town officials last year about problem areas.

“We’ve seen the patchwork on a couple of roads that were unnavigable,” Weiss said last week. “It’s in no way an acceptable permanent repair, but at least you can drive on those roads temporarily.”

New York State Pavement Rating System to be used by the Town of Oyster Bay

Rating: Condition/Description

9-10: Excellent — No surface distress

7-8: Good — Surface distress beginning to show

6: Fair — Surface distress is clearly visible

1-5: Poor — Distress is frequent and severe

U: Under Construction — Not rated.

Source: New York State Department of Transportation

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