Poorly drained Westerly road will finally be paved

Poorly drained Westerly road will finally be paved

The Westerly Sun


WESTERLY — A road that was supposed to have been paved more than 50 years ago will finally receive a hard surface in the coming months.

The residents of Pond View Avenue, which runs between Shore Road and South Fairway Avenue, have been asking the town to pave the road for years, said Town Manager Derrik M. Kennedy. Water pools up on both avenues during heavy storms, officials said.

“Pond View and South Fairway residents have contacted this office and the engineer’s office since before I have been town manager, the issue being improper drainage during heavy or long-duration rain events. Further, residents of Pond View have complained about the condition of the road,” said Kennedy, who started work in Westerly in October 2015.

Town Engineer Sheila McGauvran said she expected the project to be put out to bid in a few weeks. In addition to paving, the project will entail the installation of an infiltration drainage system to capture runoff as required by state stormwater regulations. An engineer hired to design the project estimates the work will cost about $300,000. It will be paid for with funds from the $6 million road bond approved by voters in 2014.

According to McGauvran, the road was recorded in the town land records in the 1950s. Over time houses were built on the road even though it was never brought up to town specifications. A portion of the road was formally accepted as a town road by the town in 1988 and the remaining portion became municipal property in 2009 when the town took it through a tax sale when the property owner became delinquent on his taxes.

There are now 13 houses and two undeveloped lots on the road and an additional two houses on Shore Road that can be accessed from Pond View Avenue.

McGauvran discussed the road with the Planning Board on Tuesday.

“Somehow when it was originally [recorded] something must have gone through the cracks. The developer recorded, got some building permits, and the road never got paved,” McGauvran said.

When the road is paved it will not meet the normal municipal standard for width because of how the properties were developed over the years, McGauvran said.

McGauvran said the history of the road should serve as a caution flag for town officials.

“This is one of those cases where cities and towns learn how important bonds are so the town doesn’t get burdened with the cost of these types of projects in the future,” she said. “Even though this subdivision was constructed quite some time ago, the concerns are still valid.”

The municipal zoning regulations allow the Planning Board to require developers to post bonds to ensure projects are completed to town standards.

dfaulkner@thewesterlysun.com


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