This is a question we are often asked. A number of factors go into the DPW's roadway maintenance and reconstruction plans. The biggest factor is money. The Town of Hanover receives roughly $500,000 a year in state aid (Chapter 90) funds to perform road maintenance. In years past the Town Meeting has supplemented this money with local pavement management funds. The economic downturn over the past few years has limited the Town's ability to appropriate these supplemental funds.
The May 2011 Town Meeting and subsequent Town Election took an extraordinary action and authorized $8.5 million to repair many of the worst roads in town. This vote was a clear choice by Hanover's residents to maintain its investment in the road network. The current work plan for this work may be viewed at the following link: Roadway Reconstruction Plans
The DPW Director, Deputy Superintendent, and Highway Foreman evaluate the condition of every town road in town every two to three years. Roads are rated on a number of factors. This information is used to drive the Town's pavement management plans. Ultimately each road is assigned a pavement condition index of 1-10 with one being severely distressed and ten being new. The roads are then mapped out using the Town's Geographic Information System (GIS) to develop a townwide map of pavement condition. In this map, the severely distressed roads are color coded in red, the moderately distressed roads in yellow, and the good to fair roads in green or blue. We use this map, together with other information such as the condition of curbing and sidewalks, to develop our pavement plans. Streets in like condition in neighborhoods are grouped together where possible so that neighborhoods age at roughly the same rate. Grouping streets also allows us to minimize the mobilization costs of the paving crew.
Ultimately the choice of which roads we do maintain is based upon the available funds. We attempt to perform light preventive maintenance to roadways where possible (crack sealing or microsurfacing) to extend the life of pavement that is in fair condition. Overlays are generally planned for streets that are moderately distressed. Roads that are severely distressed generally need significant reconstruction. The cost of the repair naturally goes up as the distress level rises. The presence of curbing and sidewalks increases the cost of roadway reconstruction.