Oops. Route 1 in Stonington may need paving again

The crease down the westbound lane of Route 1 in Stonington, as it appeared June 13, 2018. (David Collins/The Day)
The crease down the westbound lane of Route 1 in Stonington, as it appeared June 13, 2018. (David Collins/The Day)

It's paving season, and in Stonington that recently brought a full week of traffic disruption as the main road through town, Route 1, was stripped of old pavement and covered with new.

Apparently, like many others who followed the progress of this much-needed paving, I thought there was some delay when they stopped about two weeks ago, and that they would be back to finish and smooth out the plain seam running down two sides of the road.

When the painted yellow center lines went down, though, it began to look permanent, and forever flawed.

Indeed, I knew I was not alone in puzzling through the state of the paving project once someone sent me a thread on the Stonington community Facebook page with dozens of postings complaining about the work.

A state Department of Transportation spokesman confirmed last week that the $870,000 project was in fact botched, and parts of it, if not all of it, will need to be resurfaced.

The DOT has notified the contractor, American Industries of Jewett City, that the finished job is not acceptable but Kevin Nursick, the DOT spokesman, said the state is not prepared yet to say it is the fault of the contractor.

That determination will be made after DOT sends its pavement analysis experts — who knew there was such a person? — for an examination.

I left a message at American Industries' office Friday asking for comment about the problem and didn't hear back.

The strange seam actually appears in sections of both the eastbound and westbound lanes. The project covers a distance of 2.59 miles, between Broadway Extension to Route 1A, essentially the main drag between Mystic and the vicinity of Stonington Borough.

Nursick said the seams leave what the DOT is calling a washboard effect on the surface. It is a bit disconcerting as you see it ahead on the road and you can feel it slightly as you drive over it. I did get out of the car and examine it and it is not as large a difference in height as it seems when you look at it from a distance.

Nursick said every effort will be made to minimize the disruption in repairing it, since people have been through traffic delays for the initial paving. Some significant repairs, removal and repaving may be needed in sections but it is unlikely a full repaving would be necessary, he suggested.

That will be determined once the pavement analysis experts have concluded their investigation.

Stay tuned.

The paving season, it seems, will be a bit more fulsome in Stonington this year.

This is the opinion of David Collins.

d.collins@theday.com

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