The veritable endless snowstorms that have slammed Long Island during the first seven weeks of 2014 have left a cornucopia of winter tidings in the form of potholes across our region. Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilman Gary Hudes are responding to roadway craters by launching a new road repair program that bolsters the customary asphalt-fixing work performed by the Town’s Highway Department by adding workers from the township’s parks and sanitation crews. The officials also encouraged neighbors to call the town’s Department of Highways to report potholes in need of repair.
“We’re declaring war on potholes,” announced Murray, as she and Hudes filled a pothole with hot asphalt at a North Merrick roadside press event. “By adding crews and equipment to fortify the work of town highway crews, we will be able to fill more potholes in a shorter period of time.”
The town will be dedicating approximately 30 trucks to pothole repair work alone, a marked increase over the 18 trucks ordinarily on the job. Township roadway repair efforts have already entailed the use of almost 225 tons of asphalt this year. Hempstead Town has received approximately 600 calls to fill roadway craters. Additionally, town highway workers have filled hundreds of other potholes they have encountered while responding to potholes that have been reported.
More than just adding trucks and workers to the pothole repair effort, Hempstead Town is implementing a new strategy in repairing roadway craters. Where formerly only highway crews repaired potholes, two new departments will join the highway team in the battle for smooth roads. Parks Department and Sanitation Department workers are being cross-trained to do the roadway repairs.
In addition, the manner in which potholes are identified is being modified. Previously, town crews responded to resident calls, reporting road damage. While the town will still respond quickly to those calls, foremen will now proactively seek out potholes and report those asphalt defects to crews for response. Also, the crews’ tradition of filling potholes they spot while responding to reported craters, will remain in place.
“Our crews are out working hard to fix the damage that Mother Nature has left in her path,” stated Hudes. “The additional road repair crews will make town roads pothole-free more quickly.”
Murray and Hudes also encouraged neighbors to report potholes on town roads so that crews can respond. Residents are encouraged to call Hempstead Town’s Highway Department at (516) 812-3471, Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 4:45 p.m.
The officials noted that the town is responsible for repair of township roadways; generally the local residential streets in neighborhoods. New York State and Nassau County oversee the parkways and most major roads in commercial areas. To report potholes on Nassau County roads, residents are asked to call (516) 571-6900. For reporting potholes on New York State roads, the state hotline for residents to call is 1-800-POTHOLE. Residents of incorporated villages should call their villages for pothole repair.
“This has been a tough winter for town workers and residents alike,” said Murray. “We want to make sure that the road to springtime is a smooth one and free of potholes.”