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Paving the Way for Long-Term Road Maintenance

The town is nearing completion of a project that would identify roads and could save the town thousands by addressing problems before a full milling and paving project is needed.

A Middletown-based engineering firm has completed their assessment of Southington roads and with the physical work completed, officials said it’s time to start developing a plan to address problem areas and work towards saving the town money.

Southington Town Manager Garry Brumback said Vanasse Hangen Bristlin, Inc., has completed their evaluation of the towns 235 miles of road, giving each street a number between 0-100 with 100 representing a brand new road.

“The good news is we are in better shape than we originally thought. Of the roads we have, about 35 miles are considered in bad shape and about 40 miles are about to be labeled in a tough position, but well over half are better than we thought,” Brumback said.

The next step, a more difficult task, is determining those that can be addressed now before they reach a much more expensive repair state, he said.

Cheryl Lounsbury said last week that she is hopeful with the new information the town will be able to take action during the current budget process to begin planning for road repairs. If included in the budget process, the town could begin work as early as July on some roads.

“There are some towns that do not have the benefit of this information. It gives us a flexibility and opportunity to begin addressing needs now,” she said.

Brumback cautions, however, that the worst shape roads won’t necessarily be those first addressed. Instead, he said the town will look at the most cost effective way to proceed and determine the plan based on the best way to prevent unnecessary future costs.

Although the is now complete, some council members are asking that the town make sure it is prepared to move forward without having to hire a consultant again.

Some on the council were skeptical about the necessity of a pavement assessment system. Dawn Miceli, who questioned the need for the assessment earlier this year, said she believes the $55,000 could have better been used directly on road repairs.

The program was widely supported by Republican councilors, however, and Public Works Committee Chairman Peter Romano said with the new plan in place, he believes the town will save thousands.

Council minority leader Christopher Palmieri said although it’s good to have a plan in place, town staff still need to focus on learning how to properly identify road re-pavement needs around town in order to keep the list updated without future assessment costs to the town.

“When we (first) talked hiring consultant, we talked about it being a one-time consultant,” Palmieri said. “I just want to make sure we are now taking steps toward plans to make sure town staff are prepared to maintain data base.”

Jane D. February 21, 2012 at 11:27 AM
I agree with Micelli. It doesn't take an engineering giant to drive around town and know where the lousy roadways are -- many for years! That money would have been better spent fixing those roads. And if money precludes fixing the 50% that are unacceptable (imagine, 1/2 the roads in our town are in bad shape?!), I know where we can come up with another $800-900 thousand -- nix that idiotic turf project for the HS football field!
Ed Costello February 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Just curious if it might be cheaper or more cost effective long term to cover them with plastic grass
Arthur Cyr February 21, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Take a drive down Marion Ave and then drive up and down School Street and again ask if "It doesn't take an engineering giant to drive around town and know where the lousy roadways are"... then WHY wasn't it done years ago? (Ask Mr. Tranquillo & Mr. Weichel!) Part of the answer is that this town did NOT the detailed analysis of all 225 miles of roads or have a written plan to deal with them in an organized way. We now have a road maintenance and Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for our buildings and roads. But as with many things, playing catch up and/or repaving 50% of our roads immediately would cost taxpayers much more than most are willing to spend in the next 2-3 years.
Southington Phoenix February 22, 2012 at 02:01 AM
I wonder who's going to be paving the way for some cash? Maybe we could use the extra money from the gross receipts tax on gas, oops some knucklehead wants to give that up so the big oil companies can make more profit on the backs of working people.
JIM FOWBLE February 22, 2012 at 02:31 AM
THEY MISSED WEST SIDE DEFASHION ST TO COUNTY RD.ROCK ON SHOULDER& SPRING LAKE RD FROM FLANDERS TO WOODRUFF ST RD ONLY 5 FT. WIDE ON ONE AREA.

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