The Huntington Highway Department has acquired a milling machine that will allow town workers to properly prepare roads for repaving, says Andre Sorrentino, highway department supervisor.
Contractors have been milling the town’s roads for repavement in past years. But with the town’s $400,000 purchase, funded with government grants secured by local politicians, the town can now double the amount of roads it resurfaces come springtime.
The machine “grinds the existing asphalt that we drive through every day and takes a 1- to 3-inch layer up, depending on how bad the surface is,” Sorrentino says. “It grinds it up, and then we bring it to be recycled into asphalt again for when we put down 2 inches of new asphalt. It gives a new product and adheres to the road better.”
State Sens. James Gaughran and Mario Mattera helped secure $150,000 for the machine, and Assemblymen Steve Stern and Keith Brown helped secure $250,000 through the State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM).
“We have all had the infuriating experience of driving pothole ridden local roads,” Stern said. “This critical funding for a new milling machine for the Town of Huntington will make a substantial impact on repairing our roadways and improving our quality of life.”
Gaughran also notes that he has drafted a proposal to acquire a second milling machine for the town so that even more roads can be fixed in the future. Sorrentino says the town highway department previously repaved roughly 25 miles of road per year but were able to repave about 70 miles this year.
“It gives the town highway department the ability to fix smaller roads and less traveled roads,” Gaughran says. “When they have to contract out for a machine, they don’t have as much flexibility. Now they can use their own employees to do it at their own pace and get their own roads done.
“Historically, when you just repave the road with blacktop on top of old road, you add layer after later and that actually raises the road, creates drainage issues, and now the road is higher, and there’s flooding on people’s lawns and elsewhere,” he adds. “At some point you just can’t add more layers, you have to mill it out grind it down, and then pave it from scratch. This machine gives them the ability to do that.”
The highway department has had the milling machine for about two months for trial testing and will begin using it again in spring 2023.
Until then, the department is ready for the winter season’s first snowstorm with six fully-stocked salt barns — equivalent to about 20,000 tons of salt. Sorrentino says they are currently seeking snow plowing contractors.
“The goal is to get over 200 outside contractors,” he says. “There’s plenty of work to go around. We don’t turn anyone away as long as they have the proper trucks and equipment.”
Interested contractors can contact the highway department at 631-499-0444.