Highway Department Responsibilities
- Build and maintain 40 miles of dirt road and 30 miles of paved road
- Maintain town properties
- Repair and maintenance of all town equipment
- Provide support to: Transfer Station, Cemeteries, Government Buildings, Emergency Management, and Water & Sewer Department
Protecting our Environment:
The Highway Department has switched from Calcium Chloride to Magnesium Chloride with rust inhibitors to make it less corrosive on cars, lessen environmental impact and reduce cost.
The Road Agent would like to remind residents of a few rules that can help make the road agent’s job more efficient and our roads safe for all:
- Overnight parking between 11 pm and 6 am is banned from November 1 to the following April 16
- Do not push snow across the roadway
- Do not park within 10 feet of the roadway
- Do not snowplow snow into the roadway
- Please yield to snowplows
- All driveway culverts are the responsibility of the homeowner to maintain per RSA 236.13VI
- Winter Sand is available seasonally for residential use. The sand is intended to be used by the bucket and not by the truck load. Misuse of the sand pile could result in limitations of elimination of sand provisions.
- Road plowing, sanding, salting, and drainage work
- Plowing of parking lots and sidewalks
- Repair of storm damage to trees and roads
Care of Paved Roads
- Patching of paved roads
- Regrinding and repaving of all paved roads
- Stripping of paved roads
Care of Dirt Roads
- Ditching, culvert cleaning and replacement, road-side tree cutting
- Grading and raking of gravel roads
Maintaining Road Materials
- Crushing stone and concrete for road material
- Screening sand for winter sand
Beginning in 2012, the Town will annually invest money in rebuilding the bases of dirt road. The worst drainage areas of our dirt roads are being targeted for rebuilding. Funding only allows for rebuilding of a small part of the worst sections each year. The key is to continue this process each year over the next twenty years.
The process will remove the existing road by a depth of from 2 to 4 feet. The next step will be to assure that the ditches have adequate depth and will drain water away from the road. The Department will put in a drainage layer of stone above a membrane to keep the upper driving layers dryer. Those drive layers of gravel are the final step. The goal is to redo between a half mile and a mile of dirt road a year. The Town has 70 miles of dirt road with about a third needing major repair.
Installation of new culverts on Prospect Hill Road.
Stevens Road was the main project in 2018. The road was rebuilt, two retaining walls were built to widen the road, and paving was done from 118 to North Lary Road.
In addition, the Senior Center parking lot was paved.
The goals for 2017 were to grind the old asphalt on three sections of West Farms Road and repave all of the paved portion. On Stevens Road, grind all of the asphalt and regrade and let the road compact and repave it in 2018. Continue culvert, ditching and tree work on roads in general as needed.
The State of NH gave Canaan a one time grant of $138,000. Part of that grant allowed us to grind and repave Jones Hill Rd in addition to the planned work.
West Farms Road
Grinding, Ditching & Paving
Jones Hill Road
Grinding & Paving
An uplanned 2017 project was the repair of 12 roads damaged by heavy summer rains and flooding on July 1, 2017. The Town has applied to FEMA for a grant to pay for repairs.
A second major flood event in October also necessitated repairs to paving, culverts, and bridges.
The major road project for 2016 has been Talbert Hill road reconstruction.
In addition, the abutment for the North Lary Road bridge was repaired where it was being undermined by storm water run-off.
The normal work of cleaning culverts, ditching, replacing culverts on West Farms Road, grading and applying calcium for dust control was undertaken.
Other community projects were undertaken as well. Bleachers donated by the Canaan MotorClub were transported to the football field at Mascoma Regional High School.
The new Elliott Field received finish work and a sand pad for a trailer for a needy resident was created.
The Autoware property was demolished for a new community parking lot.
A water main under Indian River broke and was repaired by the Highway Department. A new (used) roadside mower was purchased in July and after it is restored at a cost of about double our usual annual rental cost. This will allow us to increase the amount of roadside mowing we will do in future years and save us money . We are hopeful that this year’s mowing will still be done before the end of fall. The delay is due to fixing the new (old) mower. And, as always, winter sand screening and gravel crushing was also completed.
The Highway Department has spent much of the summer working on reconstructing about a half mile of Codfish Hill Road at the Turnpike Road end. In 2014 the pavement that had become impossible to patch was ground up. This year, a whole new drainage system was put in place. In past years, the continuous run-off from storms down the half mile long hill has been bad for the road, and in the winter it has created a lot of ice as the water repeatedly crossed the road.
The new construction has created at least 8 new detention pits to capture the run-off from the road and let the storm water sink safely into the soil. At least five new catch basins have also been installed as has many new culverts and nearly a third of a mile of new ditching with stone rip rap.
Installation of paving, shoulders, and paved swales
in October completed the Codfish Hill project.
The other major paving project in 2015 was the completion of paving on Goose Pond Road. All of the worst sections between Route 4 and the Dam have been paved. Talbert Hill will be paved in 2016.
The Town of Canaan has 12 bridges that are large enough that they are inspected by the State every year and receive an assessment of their quality. There is a red list that is created by the state that lists bridges which have a structural issue that needs to be addressed but which usually does not prohibit the use of the bridge. On these bridges, the state provides funding of 80% of the cost of the repairs or replacement, although the waiting list is currently over 10 years. We have two bridges on the red list.
There is a set of culverts on Goose Pond Road just below the dam that are rusting out. The total replacement cost for these very large culverts is about $500,000 including engineering. The Town replaced these culverts in 2014 using 80% state funding.
The first red list bridge to be replaced is the bridge that crosses Indian River on Potato Rd. The issue on this bridge is that the wooden decking needs replacement. This is scheduled for replacement in 2019. We currently have sufficent funding for the 20% local share of the cost for replacing this bridge.
The second red list bridge is the first bridge crossed as you enter Grist Mill Hill Road from Route 4. The issue on this bridge is that the concrete decking is leaking water that is allowing rust to form on the steel I-beams. Our plan is to reconstruct this bridge by 2023. We maintain a capital reserve account for the local share of bridge repair and replacement.
For a full report of all Town Equipment, please read the Current Asset Inventory
Last Updated 12/31/2017
The Highway Department was able to obtain several pieces of equipment through the CIP Program, Capital Reserves and Year End Surplus.
The largest expenditure was for a backhoe to replace the 2004 JCB backhoe. The backhoe is used extensively for culvert, water & sewer and construction work.
Also added was a “new to us” used bulldozer that was rebuilt by our mechanic. The bulldozer will save us at least $5,000 a year. Finally, we sold our old equipment trailer and bought a larger trailer than can carry the excavator we use. The trailer and backhoe were funded from the Capital Reserve we put aside each year. The bulldozer was purchased from unexpended highway funds at the end of 2012.
The following are pictures of the new Dodge 1 ton truck acquired from the CIP Capital Reserves in 2011. There are several new features on this truck:
- The front snow plow has a quick disconnect the lifts and attaches the plow for winter use.
- The wing plow that attaches on the passenger side of the truck has a quick disconnect that lifts the wing plow and attaches it to the side of the truck.
- The dump box sides fold down if needed to use the dump body as a platform for tanks or to carry oversize loads.
- All hydraulic controls including the attaching of plows are located in the cab.
The Highway Department is willing to deliver free fill from road projects if people request it and sign a waiver of liability on the delivery and use of the material. Call Bob Scott at 523-4344 to request the fill and download a waiver form here.
Roads are posted every Spring. Watch here for details or sign up for town notices.
When Canaan Roads have restricted weight limits, you may ask for a waiver. Open this form, print and & complete it, and then fax it to 603-523-7581. On some browsers, you can also fill out the form electronically, save it, and then attach to an email sent to CHDbob@canaannh.org