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Newtown’s Disintegrating Roads

To the Editor:

This is a letter to the editor and our town officials.

While I appreciate that the town has found a new method to control speeding on our roads and saving money on road grating by letting our roads disintegrate to the point where grating won't be required, the situation has become dangerous.  People swerve to miss the craters in our roads creating unsafe driving conditions.  Tire blow outs also create a dangerous situation in that you suddenly lose control of your car (my daughter had a blowout this past week).

On top of the safety hazard, the condition of our roads is impacting property values and causing significant financial impact with repairs to suspension, rims and tires of our cars. 

I keep hearing that the reason for the bad roads was how bad the winter was.  For anyone living in this area for any length of time that excuse isn't even remotely plausible.  We have had winters far worse than last winter and the roads have never been this bad.  The only answer is that the town and state are not living up to their duties and have let maintenance languish over a number of years culminating in what we now have.  We need the town to think of solutions not excuses.

It is now over three months since winter ended and other than constant patching I have seen very little work done on town roads.  Before long the next winter will be upon us and without a plan and some level of remediation ahead of time some of our roads will become borderline impassable.  I have three ways out of my neighborhood and not one is reasonably maintained.

A perfect example of long term lack of maintenance is the area of Hanover Road at the bottom of the hill before Echo Valley.  For at least three years now the area has continued to disintegrate.  Calling the area a pot hole would be the biggest understatement.  Every week or two they come through and add patch on top of patch.  This is a waste of time and money in that it doesn't last more than a couple of days.  It would be good for you to take time (two minutes from the center of town) to inspect how bad this has become.  If the town can't afford to pave the road at least take the time to cut out the small area and repave it (similar to the couple of spots on Main Street).  This is just one example and I am sure there are many more around town.

Please do something to improve this situation before someone gets hurt or worse.

Karl Moore

13 Old Farm Hill Road, Newtown             July 20, 2014

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