FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Several bouts of freezing and thawing have occurred since December, but that isn't hurting the quality of Fairfield's roads, a town official said.
The roads across town are in good shape so far this winter, according to Fairfield’s Director of Public Works Joe Michelangelo.
“I’d like to think that our roads are in fairly decent condition that they can survive the freeze-and-thaw and freeze-and-thaw season,” Michelangelo said.
Generally, the continuous freeze-thaw cycle of winter can increase the number of potholes in the roads, something other towns across the state have expressed concern about. But pothole season shouldn't begin until March, Michelangelo said, and fixing those problems is usually done in the spring.
The freeze and thaws that the town roads have seen will generally cause cracks at this point in the winter, he said, and when the cracks come together in the road its called "alligatoring."
“When that fails, it’s going to fail in late March when the frost cycle is ending,” Michelangelo said. “If you keep on top of your roads, you don’t get to that point.”
In last year's budget, the Representative Town Meeting cut the department’s paving budget by $250,000 to $2.75 million. With 275 miles of town roads, keeping on top of the paving is important, Michelangelo said. He told the RTM that any road that didn’t get paved would be deferred and pushed down the line.
According to a study done by the public works department, it costs about $375,000 per mile to reconstruct a road once it has deteriorated to the end of a 15- to 20-year lifespan.