A big part of the town road maintenance practice in Mount Pleasant has been for highway personnel to head out and observe road conditions to decide which streets need repair.
But thanks to the efforts of a Manhattan College intern this summer, the town now has a computerized system for road maintenance planning.
Town resident Joe Muccin, who is entering his senior year, has been trained through the Cornell Local Road Program, a national initiative offered at the college. Over the past three months he prepared a road study, and concluded roads must be regularly maintained and improved.
“You should look at roads as an investment,” he said.
Muccin has devised a computer software program with recommendations for a five-year road maintenance plan. Mount Pleasant has 119.5 miles of town roads and currently spends $431,228 a year to maintain those streets.
Muccin said he toured all town roads during the summer to compile his survey. He looked for a variety of factors to determine which roads are a higher priority for repairs, including cracking and potholes.
The aim of his project was to have “a safe, more efficient network or roads” in Mount Pleasant, Muccin said.
Town Engineer David Smyth said that due to budget implications, the town will be unable to make the recommended investment for road maintenance. However, Muccin’s plan has revealed the current condition of the town’s roads and local officials can lobby Mount Pleasant’s state representatives to increase funding repairs, Smyth said.
Still, the town will make good use of Muccin’s work.
“We will use the ratings and recommendation to allocate our capital funding moving forward in an effort to achieve the most return for our investment,” Smyth said.