Orange Highway Employee Is 2015 Roadeo Star

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Oct 232015

Kenny Ciola — #1 in CT

Kenny Ciola — #1 in CT

Kenny “Top Gun” Ciola enjoys driving trucks, so it’s only fitting that he be the one to bring home the Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency (CIRMA) first place trophy in the annual Snow Plow Roadeo sponsored by the Connecticut Association of Street and Highway Officials (CASHO) that took place in Wallingford on Oct. 15.

Drivers from cities and towns from across the state were rated according to their driving proficiency, skills and safe driving abilities. This is Orange’s first win since 1997.

What’s involved?

IMG_6326According to Ciola, he had to drive through a very tight course lined with white and orange traffic cones, including some placed under mailboxes. “The objective is to take out the smaller white cones and leave the big orange cones. We’re timed and judged on bringing the truck in all different directions and you have to swoop into an alley dock that’s really tight and you can’t knock anything over in there,” he said. “You’re not supposed to hit any mailboxes, I admit I got a couple, but I got more white cones than mailboxes.”

Ciola and Donny Foyer Jr. both competed in the single axle class 4 competition and Ciola wasn’t the only winner, the Town’s 2013 Mack “Truck #73” that he drove in the competition, earned a plaque for “Best In Show.”

“I enjoy what I do,” said Ciola, who’s been with the department for 9 years.

The handsome trophy (with snowflakes on the columns) is on display in the Highway Department break room.

What’s Going On With the Roads In Orange?

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Jun 252015

20150624_142016The Orange Police Department has been keeping residents abreast of roadwork locations on its Facebook Page.

So far, the work that has been completed, Old Tavern Road, for example, is receiving high praise around town and on social media.

The roads were “pretty bad” this year after such a harsh winter because the roads were in rough shape to begin with, according to Highway Foreman Don Foyer.

On Thursday, June 25 and Friday, June 26, Mapledale Road — which was one of the most talked about streets in town for its curb to curb pot holes — will finally be paved.

Orange Live met with Foyer on Ferry Road for a look at the work being done on the one mile stretch of road that is New Haven Avenue.

First, and foremost, Foyer pointed out the words “Road Closed” that graced one of the wooden horses on Ferry Road, the same message that clearly marks New Haven Ave. from Racebrook Road to Spring Street.

He said, “What people need to understand when they see these is — This Means You. There’s a reason we put them up. Everyone complains that the roads are a mess, then they complain when we’re working on them and they’re closed for a few days.”

Moments later, a car that went around the barriers on Racebrook at New Haven Ave. passed by on the graded surface. “See,” he said. “People just have to be patient.”

Each road in the 7 mile area earmarked for repaving this year undergoes the same process.

The Garrity Company brings in a vehicle that works like a giant tiller that “reclaims” the streets grinding them down to the dirt base and with the Orange Highway Department crew’s help, grades the surface.

When the surface is flat and stable the Tilcon company paves the roads and the town guys work as flagmen, keeping unauthorized vehicles out.

New Haven Avenue will be prepped and paved early next week.

Once that stretch of road is completed, work on Dogwood Road will begin.

Foyer said Dogwood is the longest road on the repair list and it will be a challenge for drivers.

“We’ll close it in sections and have the announcements out there so people will know that they’ll have to find alternate routes when we’re working on it,” he said. “Dogwood should be done by mid July.”

Completing the  7 miles that were on this year’s “fix list” will exhaust the 2014-15 bond, then the town will have to get another $5 million bond to address other roads that are in need of repair.

In the meantime, Orange Live will repost the roadwork schedules and remember, Road Closed means, “the road is closed.”

Orange Public Works Snow Plowing Policy

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Jan 252015

Orange Snow Plows stood at the ready Tuesday afternoon in anticipation of storm Derby.

Orange Snow Plows stood at the ready last year in anticipation of storm Derby.

There are more than 110 miles of streets in the Town of Orange. Snow removal can cost up to $2,500.00 per hour. Therefore, it is important for the Department of Public Works to use its resources wisely with cooperation from the residents to minimize the cost.

Plow Routes:   The streets are plowed and sanded in order of priority. Main (collector) roads are addressed first with special attention to steep hills, and difficult intersections. Side streets are done next, then dead-end streets.  Side streets will remain unplowed if the main roads require repeat plowing due to heavy volume of snowfall. This may not seem fair to the residents of side streets or dead-ends.  However, the main roads must remain open.

Blocked Driveways:   All snow plows angle the same way; to the driver’s right. While plowing, the plow will push the snow in front of a residential driveway.  The homeowner is responsible for access to his/her driveway. The only way to avoid additional snow removal is to wait until DPW work crews have completed their final clean up of your road.

Mailbox Damage:   The town repairs or replaces only those mailboxes and/or posts that are actually struck by the plow blade.  Usually, a paint mark or tire tracks provide evidence of a mailbox strike.  The Town does not repair or replace mailboxes and/or posts that fall from the force of plowed snow. Mailboxes and supporting posts must be installed to withstand the rigors of snow removal; including the force of snow pushed from the street onto the roadside.  It is recommended that homeowners do not purchase and utilize plastic mailboxes and/or posts as they are subject to damage.  DPW recommends the use of a 4″ x 4″ wooden post or 2″ metal pipe with a metal mailbox.

Private Plowing:   The Town of Orange prohibits private plow contractors from pushing snow from private driveways or parking lots onto Town streets.  This practice is dangerous and impedes the Town’s snow removal efforts.  If there is no other alternative to pushing the snow into the street, the plow driver must plow off the windrow left across the street by re-plowing until the road is safe.  This may not necessarily mean bare pavement, but certainly it should be no worse than when the driver began work.

No Parking:   The Town of Orange Snow Removal Ordinance takes effect on November 1 of each year, and continues to April 1 of the following year.  During this time, there shall be no parking on public roads during snowstorms.  Should your vehicle be parked on the street causing an obstruction to snow removal vehicles, your vehicle may be ticketed or removed by the Town of Orange Police Department.  The cost of removal and any other subsequent fees shall be borne upon the owner of the vehicle.

Snow Stakes:   The Town of Orange Highway Department reminds Orange residents to install “snow stakes” now before the ground freezes.  It is difficult to distinguish between the pavement edge and the edge of a lawn in heavy snowfall.  Installing stakes along property edges as close to pavement as possible without interfering with traffic will help homeowners avoid unsightly lawn damage this winter, especially for properties with underground sprinklers or invisible fencing.  Snow stakes should be 30-36″ high and can be purchased at a local hardware store.  If using wooden stakes, paint the top 3″ of the stakes red to increase visibility against snow.

Residents who feel they have a legitimate complaint should call the Town of Orange 

Department of Public Works at (203) 891-4775

Originally Published on: Oct 29, 2014 @ 0:01

Town Snow Removal Ordinance Now In Effect

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Nov 012014

parking_facility_24The Orange Highway Department would like to remind residents the no parking “Snow Removal Ordinance” is now in effect and will remain in effect until April 1, 2015.

The “Unlawful to Park” is listed under Section 2 of the “Snow Removal Ordinance” and reads as follows:

“It shall be unlawful at any time during the period between November 1st and April 1st for anyone to park, or allow to be parked, any vehicle in any street or highway of the Town of Orange in such a way as to hamper and interfere with the work of removing or plowing of snow or the removing or sending of ice from or on such street or highway.”

The ordinance also authorizes the police to tag and remove, at the owner’s expense, any vehicle parked, or allowed to be parked in the street.

The Orange Highway Department is seeking the cooperation of all motor vehicle owners in keeping their vehicles parked off of the roadway during winter storms and when storms are forecasted to begin during the night.  Residents who have a particular problem with off-street parking should seek the advice of the Police Department and not disregard the provisions of the Snow Removal Ordinance.

Drumroll Please!: Orange Highway Dept. Announces 2014 Roadwork Schedule

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Apr 232014

The New Truck is taller than the older models

Many residents have been asking when will the roads in Orange be fixed? It was a tough winter and the Highway Department personnel knows better than anyone that the roads are a mess. Fixing them is a top priority, but like every other big project, things have to be planned out, including determining the priority locations with the most damage.

In answer to your questions: here is the 2014 roadwork schedule, including definitions of the different types of work so everyone in town will be fully informed.



Milling is the removal of the top 2 inches of existing pavement, leaving behind a rough surface. Paving of the surface will follow milling. Please be advised, after road surface is milled road surface will be uneven. Please reduce speed and exercise caution traveling on unfinished roads.

The following streets are to be milled and paved:


ROAD                                                FROM                                                TO____________

Indian River Road                   Milford Town Line                   Marsh Hill Road

Prindle Hill Road                    West Haven Town Line          Indian River Road

Robinson Blvd.                         Connair Road                           Cul-de-sac

Old Tavern Road                      Route 1                                        Lambert Road

Dogburn Road                          Route 34                                     Woodbridge Town Line

Derby-Milford Road                Turkey Hill Road                    Grassy Hill Road

Wheeler’s Farm Road             Derby-Milford Road              Milford Town Line



Chip Seal is a process where liquid asphalt is sprayed on the road surface, small stone is applied, the surface is then rolled and swept.

The following roads are for Chip Seal:

Birchwood Drive, Dentree Drive, Center Road Circle, Green Hill Road, Oakwood Road, Pinecrest Road, Racebrook Terrace, Whitney Lane, Williamsburg Drive and Walnut Hill Road.

While this road construction is underway we ask all drivers to reduce speed and obey flagmen. Please call the Highway Department (203) 891-4775, Monday through Friday, 7 AM– 3 PM with any questions.

We thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work to improve our roads.

We approximate the work will begin May 27 and run through the month of June.


First Look: Highway Department Receives New Dump Truck

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Apr 212014

The Orange Highway Department's new truck.

The Orange Highway Department’s new truck.

Today the Orange Highway Department welcomed a new dump truck to its fleet.

The $175,000 vehicle replaces a 17-year-old truck that no longer served its purpose and was sold at the town auction last fall.

Highway Department Crew Chief Don Foyer said the old truck had to go for a few reasons, one being that it had some difficulty moving large amounts of snow when we experienced a storm that dumped about 3-feet across the region, “It just wasn’t powerful enough,” he said.

The new truck is custom built for the town of Orange, according to Foyer. “You can’t just go to a showroom and pick one up. You give them the specifications of what you need it for and they build it for you.”

The department has been waiting on the truck for about 6 months. (Generally, they take 6-8 months from the order date to build).

Foyer said the truck has a more powerful 350 HP engine and a big plow. It will be used for snow removal, hauling sand, gravel and fill and the department’s other everyday activities.

Now that it’s been delivered, the truck needs to be detailed (Pinpoint Promotions of Milford won the bid for that job) and the two-way radio must be installed.

This highway department requested this vehicle during the budget process. It was approved and is paid for by the town.


Pot Holes: When Will My Road Be Fixed?

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Apr 102014

thDuring the April 9 Board of Selectmen’s Meeting the subject of damaged roads was discussed.

“There are a significant number of roads that will be repaired this year,” according to Selectman Mitch Goldblatt. “The town roads have been surveyed and they will be dealt with on a basis of the worst condition first. $5 million of the bond money goes toward fixing roads and that money will be used in the next 2 years, but the roads can’t all be done at one time.”

Orange Highway Dept. Crew Chief Donald Foyer is on top of this, and well aware of where each of the troublesome pot holes exist around town.

Foyer said he is meeting with the contractor next week and a list is currently being assembled. Work is expected to begin in May or June.

Orange Live will have updates on this subject as more information becomes available.

Orange Highway Department Guys Home After 14-Hour Shift

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Feb 052014

Orange Snow Plows stood at the ready Tuesday afternoon in anticipation of storm Derby.

Orange Snow Plows stood at the ready Tuesday afternoon in anticipation of storm Derby.

Snowstorm Derby has been a pain in the neck for just about everyone. the heavy snow followed by freezing rain prompted Governor Malloy to ask everyone to stay off the roads and ordered many state employees to take the day off.

But for one group of dedicated Orange town employees there is no such thing as a snow day.

The Orange Highway Department is responsible for plowing the roads and making the streets safe for drivers.

According to Department Foreman Donny Foyer, all personnel went into plow mode at 3 a.m., contractors (independent plow drivers) were brought in at 5 a.m.

“We plowed all day until 5 p.m.,” Foyer said. “We hit all the roads, curb to curb, so they are all in good shape.”

The men will have time to shower, have dinner with their families and relax before reporting to work again at 5 a.m. Thursday morning to make sure the roads are clear for the school busses.

If you drive to neighboring cities and towns you must notice that their roadways are not as well maintained as Oranges’. Residents must understand that it takes the crews 6 to 8 hours to completely clear every road in town. So, if your road isn’t done quickly enough — be patient, you know they will roll around as soon as they can.

Foyer said, “Everything is plowed. The boys are doing an excellent job. Going out and doing this for one storm after another really wears you down. They’ve all had enough.”

The “boys” work awfully hard and don’t get much “love.” So if you see the guys out on the road tomorrow or on Sunday during the next snowfall, smile and wave and say “thank you” even if they cover up your newly shoveled driveway entrance.


Meet Road Master Ken Ciola

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Nov 272012

Ken Ciola of the Orange Highway Department

Highway Foreman Don Foyer announced this accomplishment today:

Kenneth Ciola of the Orange Highway Department successfully completed UConn’s Road Master Program. At the October 25, 2012 UConn Storrs campus reception, Ken was awarded a Certificate in recognition of his training. He is the third member of this department to receive the Road Master Program degree.

The Road Master Program is a series of seminars covering the fundamentals of modern road maintenance management procedures and techniques – covering topics such as asphalt, paving, and drainage and plowing. As a Road Master, Ken is prepared to handle a multitude of Public Works road situations.

Congratulations Ken on this well-deserved honor.