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DPW Chief: "Significant Progress" in Road Paving
Hal Alvord says average road quality up over last 10 years
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Norwalk, CT | Added on October 12, 2013 At 01:24 PM

On Oct. 2, Democratic candidate for mayor Harry Rilling stood on Woodward Avenue and said the city's current administration wasn't treating Norwalk's roads properly.

"You want to make sure our roads are as clean as they can possibly be; that potholes are filled in; that sidewalks are inspected on a regular basis," he said at the time.

A week later several Common Councilmen (Jerry Petrini-R, Doug Hempstead-R, Dave McCarthy-R and Bruce Kimmel-D) publicly said the city had done more for paving roads and sidewalks under Mayor Richard Moccia than any other mayor.  

And then there's the man in charge of said paving.

Director of Public Works Hal Alvord has led Norwalk's paving charge for 10 years, 8 of them under Moccia.  He says before he arrived in 2003, Norwalk infrastructure was underfunded. 

Alvord says his department needs $5 to $6 million a year to do the paving it needs to.  In the last eight years, the city has spent $30 million on paving.

"We've made progress," Alvord says.  "We've made significant progress in where the city was 10 years ago."

The city uses a Pavement Condition Index to monitor the average quality of city roads every four years.  Alvord says during his time in Norwalk, that rating has gone from the high 60s to a 75 rating in 2013.

He says a rating of 61 to 80 is "fair."

"If we invest $6 million a year for the next 10 years, we can get [the PCI rating] up into the 80s," he says.  "That would be in the 'good' range."

City documents say 75 roads are scheduled to be paved in 2013.

On Oct. 2, Rilling said he'd seen too many times where "a road is repaved, and then all of a sudden somebody else is digging it up."

Alvord says that is not the case.

"We have a two-year moratorium on newly paved roads," he says.  "By ordinance."

Alvord says he will request $6 million for paving for next year's budget.  He says he really can't go any higher.

"You have to have the staff to manage [a greater amount of work].  We don't," he says.  "Right now, we're stretched."

You can find DPW's future paving forecast online at www.norwalkct.org.


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