AUBURN, Mass. — Auburn completed 6.4 miles of roadway improvements last year, and in 2013 Town Manager Julie Jacobson anticipates to spend $1.5 million to take on another 3.7 miles.
"Public infrastructure investments in Auburn are a priority," said Jacobson. "We've also invested another million dollars to rehabilitate and reconstruct several of our dams, which are critical to maintain. And we've invested a million dollars to improve the town's sewer infrastructure."
The improvements are part of Auburn's recent efforts to focus energy on building a strong infrastructure, which Jacobson said "is critical to the entire economy."
"The state has also done a tremendous job investing on the infrastructure here in Auburn," added Jacobson, recalling recent work to the Veteran's Memorial Corridor, a $3.4 million project to replace the Swanson Road Bridge over Rt. 290, as well as $2 million over the past two years to resurface state roads running through Auburn.
"They have $2 million invested in resurfacing Rt. 20, and they just went out to bid on a $7.3 million roadway improvement project, including a section of Rt. 20 on the Oxford town line," she said.
Jacobson said that Auburn's relatively new Department of Public Works has done a phenomenal job.
"DPW Director and Town Engineer Bill Coyle is a great asset to the town," she said. "He's put together a great roadway program using state and local funds, and he's been able to really maximize those resources to address the roads."
Jacobson said a key to this success was the reorganization of departments that occurred a year and a half ago, which combined Auburn's highway, sewer, parks and cemetery departments into the new DPW.
"We went from 25 departments down to nine," said Jacobson. "What this did was streamline the decision-making and allowed for the sharing of resources like equipment and personnel. Everyone's now focused on the same goals and objectives, and working on the same vision for the town."
Furthermore, Jacobson said that building a strong transportation network was critical to the town.
"You want to be able to move people, goods and services in and out of your community, whether it's residents or businesses." she continued. "It's important for the residents to have roadways that are reliable and safe, and it's also important as part of the broader transportation network of state and local roads. You have to have — not just an adequate roadway system — but efficient and safe roads."