County News

Town, state smooth over rough patches

Officials increase repair efforts after harsh winter


After braving a merciless winter, which closed out last month with four consecutive snowstorms and a record number of potholes, motorists across Nassau County are still hoping to end a rough commute as local and state officials continue a bevy of roadway repairs from early this year.

This winter, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray maximized the Town’s pothole response team by mobilizing its Parks and Sanitation Departments to join highway workers in tending to road repairs.

“Our crews have been working hard to repair the damage that Mother Nature left behind this winter,” Supervisor Murray said. “By enhancing our pothole response team, we have been able to fill more potholes in a shorter period of time.”

As part of its amplified response plan, according to Town spokesman Mike Caputo, officials deployed about 30 trucks for pothole repairs, adding to its regular 18 used to take on the job. Such procedures for filling potholes involve crews pouring hot asphalt into the crater, tamping the asphalt and then raking it over the pothole site.

With over 2,000 potholes repaired by highway crews in the last four months, Caputo said the Town still needs to continue its road maintenance on a daily basis throughout the year.

When it comes to repairing state roadways, the New York State Department of Transportation has also worked to repair potholes as a high priority in keeping roadways safe.

Eileen Peters, spokeswoman for the NYSDOT’s Long Island Region, said that state highway crews not only plowed and salted roads this winter, but also patrolled and repaired potholes all over the region, as weather permitted.

“The relatively early cold temperatures and the persistent, fluctuating hot-cold temperatures this winter caused more frequent freeze and thaw cycles, which kept creating more potholes and requiring crews to make repeated repairs in the same area,” Peters said. “[The New York State Department of Transportation] responded to more than 1,000 inquiries regarding potholes and has repaired tens of thousands of potholes on the state highway system this winter.”

The NYSDOT’s Long Island branch employed 1,180 tons of asphalt to fill potholes in January and February, 321 more tons used than last year. Peters also said that crews used 136 tons of asphalt to repair potholes on the Long Island Expressway between Feb. 22 and 23.

Peters said that state highway crews were equipped with an automatic pothole repair machine — which helped make repairs from inside the truck cab using a “robotic” technique to fill potholes that’s faster and less intrusive on traffic — and an emergency standby contractor on evenings and weekends to repair roads. She added that crews were able to continue patching potholes in harsh conditions due to an asphalt plant supplier on Long Island that remained open throughout the winter to provide hot asphalt.

In the coming months, Peters said the NYSDOT plans to repave deteriorated sections of the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway by filling and milling potholes that remain across Nassau County.

To report potholes or other hazardous conditions on local roadways, call the Town of Hempstead’s Highway Department at (516) 812-3471 or the Nassau County Department of Roads at (516) 571-6900. To report potholes on Southern State Parkway, Hempstead Turnpike, Sunrise Highway or any other state roadway, call 1-800-POTHOLE. For village roads, contact local village officials for repairs.