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State boosts road budget

Local towns to see additional ‘extreme weather assistance’

Guilderland, which will see almost $32,000 in additional aid to its $284,000 also experienced stretched resources.

“We’re maxed out on everything,” said Guilderland Highway Superintendent Steven Oliver. “This year took it to the wire, and I’m glad it’s over.”

Oliver said he hopes next winter holds off a bit.

“We still have September, October, November, December and January in the beginning of next year’s winter. They all go on the budget so I’m hoping the winter gets off to a slow start,” said Oliver.

One of the main reasons for the extensive road damage this winter was the extended periods of time where the temperature remained below freezing.

“It’s basically an issue of cold weather. The frost penetrates the ground, and with a deep freeze, it causes heaves and other things as the ground gets warmer. The ground doesn’t thaw at the same time, and that causes some crazy things to happen,” said Meredith. “It’s been a while since we have had a winter where it was just cold for days on end.”

Cunningham said the damage just compounds as the roads start to thaw following a deep freeze. Colonie will receive about $64,000 in extreme weather aid and about $563,000 in CHIPS aid.

“The prolonged periods below freezing temperatures prevented the frost from thawing out. The frost was 3.5 inches below the roads, and it’s usually about two inches, when roads start to thaw, the older roads crumble underneath and move up to the roads surface and cause it to crumble,” said Cunningham.

Municipalities are welcoming the extra money, which will be put toward repairing roads that have been deteriorating and replenishing salt stores. The money also helps to fill the gaps left by past years when budgets have been low. The highway departments have been setting up schedules for which roads will be fixed during construction season.

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