Wilton Makes Road Repairs a Priority

WILTON, Conn. – Fixing Wilton’s roads has become a No. 1 concern for the Board of Selectmen, and it is making plans to tackle the issue.

About 40 percent of Wilton’s 127 miles of roads haven’t been repaved in more than 20 years. The rate of deterioration increases significantly after 15 years.

“The cost to restore roads in that first 15 years … is minimal,” but the cost to repave increases between four to five times if left undone, First Selectman Bill Brennan said. He added that repaving costs about $130,000 per mile.

An extended road restoration plan is being considered for the 2013 budget and would add an additional $1 million to the regular annual funding of $650,000 for paving.

“There is an awful lot of data on these roads,” Brennan said. A restoration plan will determine which town roads most need to be fixed. However, the project wouldn’t include the maintenance of state roads such as Route 33 or on the 81 private roads in Wilton.

Currently, the Wilton Department of Public Works can only repair five miles of road per year.

Beyond the normal wear and tear, last year’s snowstorms, which dropped about 66 inches of snow, contributed to the serious deterioration of the roadways because of the melting and refreezing of the snow.

“This year’s road maintenance program was really to stretch the life of the seriously deteriorated roads,” Brennan said. “We’re trying to catch it before it goes into that real deterioration mode.”

The public works department worked on the most affected stretches of road over the past year, though not everything was done.

“If we don’t do it, it’s going to get worse,” said Tom Thurkettle, director of the Department of Public Works.

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