Hancock adopts gravel road guidelines

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/6/2019 4:24:19 PM

The Hancock Select Board adopted Gravel Road Guidelines as developed by the town's Road Committee on Oct. 21. The guidelines define routine maintenance as it applies to gravel roads, with the intention of preserving the character of the town’s scenic roads.

Road Committee member Alison Rossiter described the intent of the guidelines as: “All roads need to be maintained, but scenic roads should be handled with a more gentle touch,” which she said was a response to a town-wide survey the Committee conducted in February.

The Road Committee formed late in the summer of 2018 after residents expressed concern about what they saw as overly-aggressive maintenance on sections of Old Dublin Road, which threatened to widen it unnecessarily.

In the past, there was no single set of guidelines that incorporated all that needed to be done to the town’s gravel roads, Rossiter said. 

“Without the guidelines, there wasn't anything ... that would alert a new person in a new position about what the town's routine maintenance guidelines would be,” she said, especially if they were coming from a different kind of town. “With the new guidelines, it's all there, easily read.”

Rossiter said other towns like Milford have very detailed guidelines about road maintenance. She said Hancock’s committee developed its guidelines from materials already used by the Department of Public Works, national reference guidelines, and input from DPW Director Tyler Howe.

Rossiter said the Road Committee also sought to address past concerns about the lack of communication between the DPW and residents.

“Tyler has done a marvelous job of letting people know where his crews would be working, and what they'd be doing,” she said. She said Howe agreed to write a monthly article on relevant aspects of road maintenance for Hancock Happenings. November’s article asks residents to keep leaves out of ditches to keep water off the road and prolong the quality of the roads.

She said the guidelines were most important for the DPW director and road crew, but they are also available to the greater community at the town office and the DPW. The Road Committee dissolved upon completing the guidelines, but Rossiter said a former member will meet with the Select Board annually “to make sure the work that's being done is in keeping with what the town and Select Board are looking to have done for the roads.”


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