Connecticut targets $12 million on ravaged roads

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Over the past few months, Connecticut motorists have become a population of “rough riders.”

The past winter season was hard on all of us and it was especially hard on the state’s more than 4,000 miles of roads. There are also 3,300 state bridges and 19,000 miles of town roads.

The life span of a road surface is generally considered to be about 20 years. But severe cold and thaw like we had this year cuts that life span way down.

“Defrost cycle was so severe it led to excessive potholes and the breakage in the roadways,” said deputy commissioner Anna Barry of the state Department of Transportation. “It’s approximately, I’d say almost 20 percent … more.”

So Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will increase the budget for this work about 20 percent — from a previously approved $58 million to about $70 million. It’s an increase in spending the governor is proud to brag about.

(Document: Schedule, target dates for projects)

“It’s the third year in a row that we have increased the amount of miles or tonnage, you can use either reference point, so it’s the third increase in a row,” Malloy said.

That means a total of 265 miles of state roadways should be resurfaced by the end of the summer. DOT inspectors are checking roadways all the time and target the worst ones for this work. And they say they do use public complaints in the process.

“If (someone) points out something we don’t already know, we definitely go out and take a look at it,” Barry said.

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