Norwich voters to decide on $5 million bond in Nov. 5 referendum

Norwich — In addition to decisions on City Council and Board of Education races on Nov. 5, voters will decide in a referendum whether to continue the city’s aggressive effort to reconstruct and pave city roads and bridges, improve drainage and other infrastructure through a $5 million bond.

Voters supported similar $5 million road and bridge work bonds in 2006, 2009, 2013 and 2017.

Public Works Director Patrick McLaughlin released a plan Aug. 5 on how his department would use the bond money, along with the nearly $3 million remaining in the 2017 bond at the end of this construction season.

The city reconstructs six to eight miles of roadway per year at a cost of $350,000 per mile. The city has 162 miles of roadway and has a goal of repaving roads on a 20-year cycle, McLaughlin said.

Using the combined $3 million remaining from the 2017 bond and the newly requested $5 million, McLaughlin outlined proposed road reconstruction projects in various sections of the city. His plan is posted on the Public Works Department page on the city website, www.norwichct.org. He said the schedule is subject to change based on pending utility work by Norwich Public Utilities.

McLaughlin said there are other minor bridges, culverts, guiderails and crumbled sidewalks that need to be addressed. If emergency sidewalk repairs are done, the city would seek reimbursement from property owners.

If the bond is approved, the proposed schedule calls for paving six miles of roads in 2020 in East Great Plain, Laurel Hill, Thamesville and the central city areas, with most of the work in East Great Plain and Laurel Hill. In 2021, the city would pave 7.3 miles, nearly three miles in Thamesville, two miles on the West Side and one mile in Greeneville.

In the third and final year of the proposed schedule, 6.6 miles of roadway would be repaved in 2022, including 2.45 miles in Norwichtown, 1.1 miles in Yantic and nearly a mile in Taftville and Plain Hill Road areas.

Other proposed work includes $500,000 for minor bridges and culverts, $300,000 for sidewalks and $200,000 for guiderails.

c.bessette@theday.com

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