Darien roads 'not bad' after winter's wrath
Town avoids worst of winter road damage
As this endless, wicked winter winds down, potholes have become a huge problem throughout much of Connecticut. Stamford has been plagued by them. New Canaan has them, too. But Darien? Well, not so much.
"Two weeks ago, we were thinking it would be a big problem," Gentile said, but as of March 19, the town had received a total of just 13 resident complaints for potholes, according to Gentile.
Some sections of road in town have significant depressions called "rutting," Gentile said, which was probably caused by the removal of the top layer of asphalt, but rutted roads don't pack the jarring, tire-flattening, axle-cracking destructive force of a good-sized pothole.
Road crews will fix those sections of rutted road with the application of fresh asphalt, Gentile said.
As for potholes, for the past two weeks highway crews have been filling them in with cold patch, a cold mix asphalt that is easy to apply.
"I must say that the roads here in Darien are not bad and the potholes that were out there are now filled in," Gentile said.
It is possible for some additional damage to surface as some road beds completely melt, Gentile said. But any repairs that are necessary, he added, are expected to be absorbed in the 2014-15 roadway maintenance budget.
In Stamford and New Canaan, public works officials said the tough winter took a significant toll on roads, opening up potholes and frozen moisture-cracked asphalt.
New Canaan's Assistant Public Works Director Tiger Mann told members of the town board of finance last week that the department will need roughly another $200,000 to fill all the potholes and deal with the deterioration of asphalt.
In downtown New Canaan, sidewalks have had problems too, with frost heaving moving some sections of sidewalk up to five inches, officials said.
"This is a bad winter and we feel collectively it probably set us back three or four years in terms of preserving pavement," Mike Pastore, director of public works said.
In Stamford, officials are awaiting the opening of its asphalt supplier, Torrington-based O&G Industries, to begin more permanent repair of potholes found this spring.
O&G is aiming to open its nine asphalt plants along the coastline by March 30, a date that is contingent on minimal or no further winter episodes.
In the interim, before more permanent asphalt is available, highway crews are using cold patch to close the biggest potholes, officials said.
"We had the worst winter in quite some time, so it really took a toll on our roads," Stamford city project manager Anthony Carolluzzi said.