The pothole situation on streets might soon improve as the city is allocating extra funding to fill many craters on roads and sidewalks.
An extra $2 million has been allocated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office and the Department of Transportation, DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced Wednesday, February 16. The funding restores cuts that were made to work crews in November and December 2010 that went into effect on January 1.
Joining in the announcement was Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who is the City Council’s transportation chairman and who had also started “a pothole patrol” in his district to identify areas with lots of potholes.
“For weeks, I urged City Hall to have all hands on deck before the potholes on our streets became craters,” Vacca said. “This extra $2 million will go a long way to return our streets to a state of good repair.
The weather may be warming up, but to the millions of motorists facing an obstacle course every time they leave their homes, the winter doesn’t end when the snow melts from the ground, the winter ends when the last pothole is filled.”
The worst spots that Vacca has identified in his “pothole patrol” so far are Stillwell Avenue and Pelham Parkway, Westchester Avenue between Colonial and Pilgrim avenues, Westchester Avenue around Zerega Avenue, Pennyfield Avenue and Throgs Neck Expressway, and Middletown Road between Westchester and Crosby avenues.
The cuts to the DOT left many of the laborers who fill pothole furloughed, and Vacca said that now they many of those workers should be working lots of overtime in the coming weeks.
The additional $2 million will pay for 30 repair crews to work 20 extended weekdays and 40 crews to work 10 weekend days over what remains of ‘pothole filling season.’ which should end in April, according to a DOT report.
“Winter has not let up this year and neither have our roadway repair efforts,” said DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “Our crews have already filled 85,000 potholes this year and now these reinforcements will help make our streets safe and smooth and keep New York’s economy moving.”
For Zerega resident Lou Rocco, a pothole outside of his home has repeatedly been filled improperly, leaving him listening to cars slam.
“There is a pothole on Overing Street near by home that has been filled time and time again, but there is debris in the hole, and none of the repairs every last,” Rocco said. “They just shovel in the fill and drive away, leaving a pile of gravel in the street. They don’t roll it or anything. They don’t realize that there is debris like mud in the hole that is not allowing these repairs to last.”