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Morristown’s Scotch Bush Road paved Friday

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MORRISTOWN — For highway personnel, the annual transition from winter to spring means a quick switch from cleaning and storing snowplows to preparing local roadways for increased summer traffic.

On Friday morning in Morristown, town highway employees closed Scotch Bush Road to put down approximately 1.2 miles of new pavement.

“This is the only road I have scheduled to pave this summer besides the East River Road, which won’t be done until after the sewer project is completed,” said town Highway Superintendent Michael L. Bogart, anticipating two or three months from now.

Materials for the Scotch Bush Road project were purchased “at county price” from Barrett Paving, Norwood.

Earlier this month, Mr. Bogart’s workers completed an inventory of the department’s trucks and equipment — removing and cleaning plows, wings and related equipment from trucks in preparation for summer duties.

“The work crew has been busy cleaning, priming and painting all plows, wings and underbody scrapers before storage,” he said.

“Spring cleanup of winter road sand on town roads is complete, as is cleanup of village streets.”

Spring work has also occurred at local cemeteries and town highway employees expect to have new U.S. flags up before Memorial Day.

Besides Friday’s paving project, highway employees have started their summer work schedule, switching from eight-hour Monday-through-Friday shifts to 10-hour workdays Monday through Thursday, according to Mr. Bogart.

“We’ve got several road culverts to change out and will shim-pave over them. Four or five of them, plus the annual ditching and shoulder work along the roadside,” he said.

During Tuesday’s town board meeting, Mr. Bogart reported that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the state Legislature have reached agreement on a $363.1 million Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) for 2012-13, the same level of CHIPS funding authorized for 2011-12.

For the town of Morristown, this means a CHIPS reimbursement of $82,389.48 on June 15 for “projects with a service life of at least ten years or where the project is either microsurfacing, paver-placed surface treatment, single course surface treatment involving chip seals or oil and stone, or double course surface treatment involving chip seals or oil and stone,” according to a letter Mr. Bogart received from Diane L. Kenneally, director of the state Department of Transportation local programs bureau.

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