In Andover, we have some very beautiful scenery! We are nestled in between two mountains, we have winding brooks and covered bridges. It is a classic New England town, complete with a beautiful Village Green and a small community feel.
There are tons of pieces that work together to make this place as beautiful as it is, many departments that make up the structure that is Andover. For our roads, we had a system that worked, but it had not been integrated into the Town structure. The chart that accompanies this article describes how we would like to build this department into the Town structure.
The committee started to think, “What does a highway department do, exactly?” Les Fenton took the time to really dive into what the department should look like in terms of the scope of work. He compiled all of the facets that make up a functioning highway department. What follows is a rough draft of the mission and detailed description for the proposed Andover Highway Department.
The Andover Highway Department’s mission is to establish and maintain a quality of roads that people may travel freely, comfortably, and safely in the pursuit of their daily interests and activities. That businesses and industries may have convenient highways for the transportation of goods and services.
The Andover Highway Department is responsible for the maintenance and preservation of public roadways, bridges, culverts, signs, drainage structures, and many miles of side ditches along our rural country roads.
The Highway Department is operated from a central facility on White Oak Road off Route 4, just south of the southern Route 4 and Route 11 intersection. It handles the day-to-day maintenance of our roads. This may include berming, patching, mowing, grading, brush cutting, and snow/ice removal on the Town’s 47.43 miles of roads.
What We Do
Road Maintenance Program: Treat (sand and/or salt) and remove snow and ice from Town roads and municipal parking lots and walks.
• Repair potholes and re-grade dirt roads and associated drainage. Ongoing evaluation for crack-seal, repave, and rebuild of the Town’s asphalt streets and preparation of bid/contract documents to conduct such work.
• Maintenance and replacement of traffic controls such as street and traffic signs and painted road markings.
• Vegetation control (mowing grass, brush and tree cutting) along Town streets and intersections to maintain and/or improve lines-of-sight.
• Remove fallen trees and other obstructions from roadways.
• Maintain bridges and guard rails on Town roads.
• Sweep Town-owned streets and municipal parking lots, clean and maintain Town-owned storm water management systems (catch basins, culverts, and run-offs), and other work necessary to remain in compliance with State and Federal Environmental Protection Agency’s permits and other applicable regulations.
• Mow and maintain the grounds of Town properties.
• Operation and management of any future diesel and gasoline underground storage and dispensing facility used by Town departments (Police, Fire, Highway, and School) as well as any work necessary to ensure that the Town is in compliance with all applicable local and State regulations related to this future facility.
• Garbage pickup service and transport to the Transfer Station for the Town Beach, Town Hall, and cemeteries.
• Bridge Maintenance Program: The maintenance consists of the repair and identification of replacement needs for our bridges. Bridge repair lists are developed using historical data, field inspection information, and condition ratings. Bridges are also improved or replaced as part of our road improvement program.
• Pavement Repair Program: This program involves repairing concrete/asphalt streets located within Town borders. Our staff reviews identified problems and develops appropriate solutions with cost estimates.
• Capital Improvement Program: This includes projects that require major road repair and/or reconstruction. Project selection is based on need (road condition, traffic counts, congestion, safety problems, etc.). Many of these projects are identified in the 25 Year Transportation Plan for Andover, which is developed by the Highway Superintendent in conjunction with Town officials.
• Drainage Program: This program consists of drainage projects that solve drainage problems across roadways and along our rights-of-way. These projects may include improving side ditches, repairing tiles, installing new storm catch basins, and replacing undersized culverts.
• Snow and Ice Control Program: This program is considered top priority work in that the roads and streets must be cleared, as quickly as possible, to ensure the safety of the public.
• Traffic Control Program: The Highway Department shall maintain existing street and traffic control signage. All requests for new or revised signs are evaluated through engineering studies to see if it is warranted.
Who We Are
Highway Superintendent: 1 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)
Heavy Equipment Operator: 1 FTE
General Highway Maintenance Workers: 2.5 FTE
We hope that this structure will help this community achieve the highest standards concerning road maintenance and that these programs will ensure safe travels for our community.
The members of the committee are Jim Hanson, Chair; Jon Champagne, current Road Agent;
Steve Barton, Patricia Swingle, Les Fenton, Neil Turton, and David Barton.
As always, we would love the feedback of the citizens of Andover, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at HighwayDepartmentCommittee2020@nullgmail.com.