Proposed paving in Warren VT, courtesy of Google Earth

Warren’s so called Cross Road, the Fuller Hill extension running between Plunkton and Senor Roads, will be paved this summer, ending a public debate over mud season emergency access and paving.

At an April 9 public hearing on paving that ½-mile section of road, all the community members in attendance favored paving the road. Speeding being the only concern, the select board entertained the idea of speed bumps before joking that frost heaves might be enough.

Community members attending the select board meeting inquired about what the paving costs will be and the road crew workload for the project. Road foreman Ray Weston was in attendance and said that there is already 18 inches of gravel on that section of road – the town added 6 inches last year – and the culverts have already been replaced. The ½-mile paving project will cost $137,695 including shoulders. According to Weston, it costs $167,000 per mile to resurface a road such as Cross Road. Paving a new mile of road costs $267,000.

The select board approved the paving project hearing no objection; the project will start this summer depending on when the bids go out. Town administrator Cindi Jones said Cross Road sees about 300 vehicles a day, a result from a traffic study conducted. The highway department maintains and repairs almost 50.49 miles of roads, bridges and over 600 culverts, sidewalks and municipal parking facilities.

Muddy roads were an issue discussed at Town Meeting last month, as paved roads can serve heavy trucks and are passable year-round for emergency vehicles. Emergency vehicle access was a concern brought up by the Prickly Mountain community. For a time last mud season vehicles could not easily access the Warren back roads in certain spots.