Joe Marino expresses concerns about Utica road conditions

Joe Marino held a press conference to expresses his concerns about road conditions in the City of Utica.

Posted: Oct 4, 2019 10:44 PM

UTICA, N.Y. - Joe Marino held a press conference to expresses his concerns about road conditions in the City of Utica.

"its unfortunate, we're here again looking at these roads, looking at the unfinished pavement, unfinished business of the City of Utica, and the residents suffering through months and months of no work, no activity." Marino said.

Marino says he is calling on the mayor to follow the paving plan that was put in action earlier this year.

"The paving plan as it stood and as we've presented it was to hire a real professional engineering company to see which roads are done in which way, once that happened we could find if we need to dig it up or service coat it and we haven't had any of that," Marino said.

The city says there is a shortage of paving products but Marino says that's not an excuse.

"When they say other communities are feeling the effect of this paving shortage or whatever excuse they try to give you, go to New Hartford and look at the Higby Road section in New Hartford, it was done in two weeks, the Utica Higby Road section has been tore up, again, for months so how can New Hartford get their road done and Utica can't," Marino said.

Marino also says the mayor needs to hold the contractors accountable.

"Get this work done, get these contractors back out here, tell them we're not going to give you another penny of city money unless you do it, and if you don't we'll pull all of your money, we'll void your contract, take all the money back, and we'll get a company that could come in here and do it," Marino said.

The mayor's office sent WKTV a statement for the City's Engineering Department:

Two members of the Common Council have raised concerns about the duration of the paving season and requested a timeline for expected completion.

To respond, we must first understand the paving process. The bulk of the concern voiced is the lack of top coat on some roads that were stripped and bound. Prior to the top coat paving being applied, the previous paving is stripped and a binder is applied. The top coat adheres to the binder and completes the paving process. After the binder is installed and prior to the top coat be applied, their sub-contractor cuts out around the sewer manhole covers and various adjustments, like curb and sidewalk renovations, that are time consuming. The entire process takes coordination of multiple contractors and is largely affected by weather patterns and availability of paving and stone products.

In late June, we were made aware by Barrett Paving that quantities of paving product were in short supply and the foundry was producing paving at their highest output. The City of Utica was not alone with the shortage, as many surrounding towns were similarly affected.

In addition, a particularly rainy season played a large role in contractors not being able to apply binder in as timely a fashion as originally anticipated. This, in turn, affected their sub-contractor, Central Paving, in cutting the sewer manhole covers and adjustments as well as the top coat being finalized.

Finally, due to several significant storms this summer that produced health and safety concerns, the City utilized Central Paving for several unexpected and necessary repairs, adding to the original agreed upon workload.

The City has been in constant contact with its contractors and it’s in all of our best interests to have roadwork done as efficiently and quickly as possible. Weather dependent, the City Engineering Department expects another two weeks before all paving is complete. At the conclusion of the new paving, we will then be continuing to have work done on many road repairs to streets that were not paved.

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