Life for motorists in the Five Towns will be getting a bit smoother, as the Village of Cedarhurst began the process of milling and repaving sections of five streets on April 3.
Locust Avenue between Broadway and Central Avenue, Park Avenue between Linwood Avenue and Oakwood Avenue, Park Place between Linwood and Cedarhurst Avenue, Rugby Road between the Rockaway Turnpike and Oxford Road and Buckingham Road from Arlington Road to Oxford Road are the first phase of the roughly $500,000 project.
Mayor Benjamin Weinstock said the village was planning the work before winter weather and potholes ravaged the roads. April 2, was the original start date but another springtime snowstorm forced a delay. “We’re trying to do as much as we can this week,” Weinstock said. “HAFTR [Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway High School] (was) closed so we won’t disturb them, and traffic is lighter because people (were) away for Passover and Easter.”
Resetting some drains, manholes and repairing some curbs are also part of the work, Weinstock said, adding that the cost could increase depending on how much the contractor, American Paving and Masonry Corp., has to do on each road. After completion, Cedarhurst officials will evaluate what was done and how much money remains before beginning another round of repairs.
“We’ll continue to pave as long as there’s money in the budget,” said Frank Parise, Cedarhurst’s superintendent of public works. “We hope to get two other roads done this year as long as there are no extra expenses.”
For Smirch Kerper, a Cedarhurst resident who lives on Buckingham Road, said the milled road (when the top road surface is removed) was a welcome sight, even as his street was covered in gravel. “We’re just happy it’s getting done,” he said. “It was so bad before.”
Weinstock said that barring any disruptive weather, the streets should be paved by the end of the second week of April. Officials want to make sure Locust Avenue was done before HAFTR High returned from holiday break on April 9.
He said the work shouldn’t otherwise impact motorists. “The roads can be driven on after being milled, so no inconvenience there, and they can be driven on as soon as they’re doing rolling the pavement, and the rain may actually help it settle sooner,” Parise said.
“We’re hoping to get 10 years or more out of the repairs,” Weinstock said. “But a lot depends on emergency repairs, like if a water main bursts or a gas or electrical line breaks, once you dig a hole the road goes downhill from there.”
He said that though emergency work must be done the village requires the companies to patch roads from one side of the street to the other. “Linwood Avenue once had a 20-foot wide and 50-feet long section along the middle of the road,” Weinstock said. “Instead they went curb-to-curb so we don’t end up seams. We get a better finished product, without seams they’re less prone to reopening.”
Parise said that more than likely there will be a break between this project and the next of scheduling issues. He said that the hope is to complete the second phase by the summer, Weinstock added that they were looking at estimates for other streets as of April 9.