Costilow plans to spend $80K more on roads

By Jason Hawk -



More cul-de-sacs could be paved with blacktop this summer if Amherst mayor Mark Costilow has his way.

He wants to spend an additional $80,000 on roads, “going from bad concrete to better asphalt.”

City council has already approved $1.1 million for 2017 roadway projects. Costilow said a mild winter saved the city tens of thousands of dollars worth of salt and sewer bids were more than $100,000 lower than anticipated — and some of that money can be redirected to expand the scope of street paving.

Concrete streets installed in the 1970s are starting to badly deteriorate, even shift around. That’s left some cul-de-sacs with joint problems, the mayor said.

Going to blacktop isn’t always popular.

Last summer, residents of Meadowbrook, Quail, and Killdeer courts circulated a petition to keep concrete amid council talks to switch to an asphalt overlay. Costilow argued that blacktop would cost taxpayers $200,000 less.

A plan was hatched to let those residents pay the extra expense to use concrete (for some it would have mounted to $14,000 assessed over 20 years) but council ultimately mandated asphalt.

Costilow said he believes blacktop to provide much more bang for the buck.

“It sounds bad, but you put like a chip-and-tar surface down, some fiber mesh, then the asphalt,” he said, pointing to other communities where the process has proven popular.

As long as asphalt prices remain where they are, it’s extremely cost-effective, the mayor said.

Exactly which roads is he considering? Costilow said he hasn’t decided but expects to announce the street names in three to four weeks.

That timeline roughly coincides with the bid-out date for the already-approved summer road program.

That means Amherst street paving won’t begin until July, about a month later than in most years.

Costilow said sewer work needs to be done first. Digger’s Excavating of South Amherst has been awarded a $181,000 job replacing storm water lines under city streets. The largest portion is near Crownhill Cemetery.

Officials had expected the sewer work to cost around $300,000 but the bid came in about $119,000 lower.

Paving will done on the entire stretch of Elyria Avenue, Crownhill Avenue, portions of Main Street, Westlake Drive, Mayfield Court, and various concrete repairs will be made in the Apple Orchard subdivision.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.


By Jason Hawk