MOUNT HOLLY — A paving project put on hold for the winter needs a bit more work, according to Vermont Agency of Transportation officials.
The paving project for Route 103 between Rockingham and Clarendon was supposed to be finished on Oct. 26, said Ryan Darling, project engineer for the Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT).
He said the 39-mile project encountered a great deal of inclement weather during the summer and fall. It wasn’t able to be completed in time for winter — about 14 miles are yet to be completed. Darling said Thursday the contractor, Pike Industries, prepared the unfinished portion for winter, but not all of the work is holding up.
Darling said between the north end of Ludlow village and Mount Holly, the road is still “milled,” leaving the surface rough and uneven. The temporary coating along that stretch didn’t hold. Milled roadways hold more water and thus are more dangerous when they freeze. Other issues include road lines being worn away.
AOT officials inspected the road on Dec. 28 and gave Pike Industries two weeks to come up with a plan to improve safety along the portion of road in question, Darling said.
He said AOT has suggested the company put up warning signs, which it has, and make more use of raised road markers where the paint isn’t holding.
Darling said the project is one of the longer ones out there, and Pike was working under a tight deadline of about two months.
During that time there were 20 days during which the weather didn’t allow for paving, he said. The company had 13 days in October it could pave, and only half of those ended up being full days.
“Pike is continuing to work with (AOT) on the Route 103 project to make sure measures are in place for the safety of the traveling public,” said Katrina Mumford, spokeswoman for Pike Industries. “Unfortunate weather conditions throughout the summer and fall made it difficult to meet project deadlines and achieve all of the winterization goals as planned. We will continue to work with (AOT) and monitor conditions on (Route 103) and will implement any measures necessary to ensure safety within this project.”
The project cost is budgeted for about $9.5 million, Darling said. It’s not yet known what the extra winterization work will cost, he said, but it’s not expected to overrun the project budget.