The road to repair


Analysis digs into state of borough streets

Hunters Mountain Road in Naugatuck is one of the borough-owned roadways identified in a recent study that needs to be completely reconstructed. –LUKE MARSHALL
Hunters Mountain Road in Naugatuck is one of the borough-owned roadways identified in a recent study that needs to be completely reconstructed. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — The borough is trying to create a road map to a smoother drive.

An analysis of the condition of borough roads was presented March 18 to the Joint Boards of Finance and Mayor and Burgesses by the Hartford based-Beta Inc.

According to Beta Inc. Senior Engineer Conrad Ledger, the borough currently has 113.44 miles of accepted roadway, which is what the study focused on. There are also 20.96 miles of state roads and 3.88 miles of private roads in the borough.

The firm, which was hired for $39,350 to study the roads and sidewalks, sent out crews to inspect borough roads for cracking, potholes, pavement running, drainage issues and depressions.

“We were basically looking for surface distresses we could visually see,” Ledger said.

The inspections led to each road being placed in one of six repair categories: differed maintenance, routine maintenance, in need of surface treatments, in need of being completely milled down and having a new overlaying layer, reclamation and reconstruction and requires an extensive amount of work.

The differed maintenance category is for roads that are new enough and don’t need any work. Roads in the reclamation and reconstruction and require an extensive amount of work categories need to be completely reconstructed. Ledger pointed to Hunters Mountain Road as an example of a road that needs to be completely reconstructed.

According to Ledger the total road surface rating of borough-owed roads is 70.65. Ledger said municipalities in New England generally range from the low 50s to the mid 80s, with an average of 72.

“The nice thing is that you don’t have too many roads in the bottom range [of reclamation or reconstruction], which is good because those are the most expensive fixes,” Ledger said. “But you do have a lot in the mill and overlay, which means those roads are going to quickly fall into those lower categories.”

Ledger said the borough currently has 46.2 percent of its roads in the mill and overlay category.

Ledger estimated it will cost the borough $22.7 million to get all of its roads back up to approximately 100 percent. This does not include work on drainage, ramps, curbs or sidewalks.

The borough currently has approximately $250,000 budgeted for maintenance and repairs of its roads. According to Ledger, this amount of money will lead to the continual deterioration of the roadways.

Ledger said the borough needs to budget at least $900,000 in order to keep the roadways in their current condition. It would take $1.25 million per year to make any noticeable improvements in the roads, he said. This cost also does not include work on sidewalks, ramps, drainage or curbs.

Ledger said the borough has about 60 miles of sidewalks, which would cost over $3 million to bring back to excellent condition.

Burgess Robert Neth asked what a reasonable amount of mileage the borough could expect to complete in a single year is.

Public Works Director James Stewart said that depends on how much money the borough put towards roads.

“We did our whole budget in three days. You can do as much as you’re willing to pay for,” Stewart said.

Ledger said the next step is for officials to determine how much money it wants to put towards its roadways, and whether it wants to pursue a bond or simply put it in the yearly budget.

Officials are expected to discuss the budget for road repairs, which falls under the capital projects portion of the budget, on April 21.