Sanbornton hopes to get state to pay for most the cost reconstructing troublesome Lower Bay Road

SANBORNTON — Selectman Karen Ober said the town has applied for a Department of Transportation grant to assist with repairing and repaving the state-owned portion of Lower Bay Road.

The state portion runs from Hunkins Pond Road to Upper Smith Road.

"It's very close to the lake so there will be some very strict Department of Environmental Services regulations," she said.

She said the town has applied for a 80-20 split for financing, meaning 80 percent of the costs will be paid for by the state and 20 percent will be paid for by the town if the contract is accepted by the Governor's Council.

The so-called "Y" reconstruction project, or the project for Hunkins Pond Road and Upper Bay Road was a 2/3 – 1/3 split between the town and the state.

The caveat is once the road is complete, the town takes control of it from the state in an arrangement similar to the one used for the "Y" project.

Ober said she thinks the engineering will begin in fiscal year 2016 with construction scheduled for next year.

She added that with Lake Winnisquam so close to the road and the general slope of the land running down toward the lake, the engineering needed will be significant.

For now, Ober agrees the beginning portion of the road is not in the best shape but said it's really not much worse than many other roads in Sanbornton and surrounding communities.

She said the highway department is cold patching roads as is needed and roads are posted as to weight limits throughout town.

On a positive note, she said so far it appears the dirt roads in town are thawing more slowly than they did in the past few years, meaning the highway department is less likely to be overwhelmed all at one time like they have been in the past few years.