Milford and Ansonia have a new agreement in place to help both towns thaw out after one of the most road-damaging winters in a long time.
“We have an asphalt recycler which really no other town in the state has,” said Milford Mayor Benjamin Blake. “There are a few of them out there but we’re unique. We’ve had this piece of equipment for the last 10 years.”
The Milford Public Works Department’s Begala machine melts chunks of asphalt at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The substance becomes what’s known in the industry as “hot patch” and is then used to repair potholes and sections of roads that have been damaged by combinations of plows, ice and snow, and product meant to improve traction for vehicles.
The Begala asphalt melting machine in Milford is valuable during a time of year where it’s difficult to find a place to melt asphalt.
“During the winter months, the asphalt plants are closed down so the other municipalities, if they don’t have asphalt recyclers, they’re out of luck,” said Blake
Ansonia’s Department of Public Works has struck a deal to pay Milford $50 per ton of hot patch. Trucks from Ansonia have been busy too.
“We’ve been averaging about 10 tons ourselves,” said Tom Hunt, a highway foreman with the Milford DPW. “The city of Ansonia has been coming down and we’ve been helping them out. We give them about 4-8 tons a day.”
Hunt describes this season as “the worst in a generation” for potholes.
Milford’s mayor said the deal to allow Ansonia to purchase hot patch at a reduced rate is catching on. Other towns are inquiring about using Milford's Begala, which Blake said is the kind of program that taxpayers expect.
“We’re always looking to make things more efficient and streamline the way our local government operates and looking for new streams of revenue,” he said.