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Ogdensburg to fix more streets with CHIPs hike

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OGDENSBURG — The city will be able to improve more streets this year because of an increase in funding from the state Consolidated Highway Improvement Program.

Ogdensburg will receive $319,696, a 24 percent or $61,296, increase in CHIPs funding over its $258,399 allocation from last year.

City Public Works Director Kit Smith, who has more than 100 miles of streets and lanes to maintain, is pleased.

“Anytime you get an increase in funding, it’s a positive factor,” he said Wednesday.

Year after year, street resurfacing is the department’s big-ticket summer project.

In good years with sufficient CHIPs funds and decent weather, the city can take care of up to 30 blocks.

But, according to Mr. Smith, the steady rise in recent years of the cost of asphalt and other road-building materials has taken its toll, as the annual CHIPs appropriations have stayed flat.

Mr. Smith said the crews that once routinely managed to resurface up to 30 blocks each summer in recent years have been able to get between 20 and 22 blocks before the CHIPs money runs out.

He said the extra $61,296 is a start in getting back to handling a standard summer workload.

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