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City’s summer paving season underway

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Ogdensburg’s summer paving season is underway, and once again city officials are thanking residents ahead of time for their patience and understanding.

All those stripped, washboard streets, raised manhole covers and hot asphalt fumes can be trying.

“It’s a construction zone,” Public Works Director Kit W. Smith said of the asphalt-stripping milling and paving of 25 blocks of city streets this summer. “They accept the inconvenience.”

Milling is necessary because over time streets are worn down and require frequent new paving. But when paving reaches curb level, it leads to drainage and flooding problems.

Mr. Smith said Milling keeps layers of paving from building up too high.

Public works crews will have 12 blocks of city streets milled and paved by the start of the July 20 to 28 annual Seaway Festival, a crucial deadline as the city wants to ensure that high-traffic entrance thoroughfares like Park, Linden, Main and Ford streets as well as Proctor Avenue get done first.

“We prioritize the streets based on their use,” Mr. Smith said, adding that the rest will be done after the festival.

Mr. Smith said there is usually a two- to four-week gap between milling and paving. He attributes the wait to factors such as his crews having other jobs to do, sharing the rented, $4,500-a-day milling machine with other municipalities and, especially, weather conditions.

“The weather is a big variable,” Mr. Smith said.

In good weather, 10 to 12 blocks get milled daily.

One city councilor understands Mr. Smith’s predicament. But R. Storm Cilley recalled one resident telling him last summer that nearly two months passed between the milling and paving of his street.

“I’d just like to see him (Mr. Smith) do a better job of scheduling,” Mr. Cilley said.

Paving is good for 20 years before milling becomes necessary, Mr. Smith said.

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