Long Island Pothole Surge Prompts Ramped-up Road Repairs

Long Island Potholes
A car swerves into the opposite lane of traffic to avoid a massive pothole on Selfridge Avenue in East Garden City on Friday, March 7, 2014.

The havoc wreaked on Long Island roadways this winter has forced officials to accelerate the timeline for state road repairs initially slated to begin next year and beyond.

New York State officials announced Friday that $100 million—68-percent from the federal government and 32-percent provided by the state—has been made available for a dozen construction projects across Nassau and Suffolk counties. The projects are expected to begin this fall, though officials did not specify which roads would get priority status.

“This particular winter was so brutal that to wait two, three years for these projects would have had a severe impact on it,” said New York State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Eileen Peters.

Repairs will depend on the type of damage done to specific roadways, officials said. Resurfacing projects will range from removing the worn top layer of pavement from all travel lanes and shoulders and repairing base concrete, to improving drainage and installing new asphalt.

“We identified the most heavily damaged roads, and used every available resource to accelerate these resurfacing projects,” NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald said in a statement. “Throughout construction, we will be ensuring that traffic disruptions are minimized.”

Crews will work either overnight hours or during off-peak times (late morning-late afternoon) to mitigate traffic, Peters said.

She said some of the projects were originally scheduled for late-2015 and 2017. But the onslaught of snowy and icy weather created dangerous conditions on roads as drivers either attempted to avoid crater-sized potholes, or suffered flat tires and damaged wheels when potholes were unavoidable.

From Jan. 1 to April 30, state crews used 2,599 tons of asphalt to fill potholes—up from 1,574 tons in 2013, and 523 tons in 2012.

Up-to-date cost of repairs wasn’t immediately available. The Press reported in March that repairs cost $1,397,193 this year, quadruple last year’s price tag.

List of Construction Projects:

Nassau County

  • Long Island Expressway (LIE/I-495) eastbound and westbound mainline between exits 37 and 46 in the towns of North Hempstead and Oyster Bay
  • Northern State Parkway (NSP) between the Wantagh State Parkway (WSP) and the LIE, in the Town of Hempstead
  • Meadowbrook State Parkway (MSP) between Glenn Curtis Boulevard and the NSP in the Town of Hempstead
  • NY Route 25/Jericho Turnpike between NY Routes 106/107 and Robbins Lane, Town of Oyster Bay
  • NY Route 25/Jericho Turnpike between Brush Hollow Road and Jericho Quadrangle East in the Town of Oyster Bay
  • NY Route 878/Nassau Expressway between Burnside Avenue and Rockaway Turnpike in the Town of Hempstead
  • NY Route 24/Hempstead Turnpike between the MSP and NY Route 110 in the towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay, Nassau and Suffolk counties

Suffolk County

  • NY Route 25A between the Nassau/Suffolk border and Bread and Cheese Hollow Road in the Town of Huntington
  • NY Route 24/Flanders Road between County Roads 104/63 and Bellows Pond Road in the Town of Southampton
  • NY Route 25A between NY Route 111 and Edgewood Avenue in the Town of Smithtown
  • NY Route 25 between Kings Park Road and NY Route 111 in the Town of Smithtown
  • Simeon Woods Road between the LIE and Kings Highway in the Town of Smithtown

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