FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSIONER IRIS WEINSHALL UPDATE ONGOING POTHOLE BLITZ
200 Additional Lane Miles to be Repaved and Administration Fills 600,000th Pothole
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Iris Weinshall today announced that 200 additional lane miles of City streets will be repaved and that the City has filled over 600,000 potholes since the Administration began in 2002. The Mayor and Commissioner filled a pothole at the intersection of 65th Street and 70th Avenue in the Glendale section of Queens. The ongoing pothole blitz is in response to the severe winter, heavy snowfall and fluctuating temperatures.
"Potholes are more than just a nuisance." said Mayor Bloomberg. "They disrupt traffic, jar our bones and damage our cars. We are in the height of pothole season with the freezing and thawing of water that creates pothole wrecking havoc on our streets. While we can't stop Mother Nature from making potholes, we can repair them once they are there. Thanks to 311, we now can respond to pothole complaints even more quickly. DOT crews have been working weekends and nights for the last eight weeks filling potholes almost as quickly as they form. In addition to the pothole blitz, DOT recently began repaving 900 lane miles of City streets, an increase of 200 lane miles over last year."
"This has been a rough winter," said Commissioner Weinshall. "But our pothole crews have been working overtime seven days a week and have filled 178,000 potholes so far this fiscal year. We will take advantage of this break in winter weather to improve our roads and thanks to the Mayor's leadership; next year's budget will provide us with a 20% increase in roadway maintenance funding to make city streets smoother and safer. "
Starting in Fiscal Year 2006 funding will be increased by $15 million, or 20%, resulting in an additional 150 lane miles of resurfacing. The additional resources bring the City's total street repaving up to nearly 900 lane miles per year. DOT also received funding for an increase of 50 lane miles in the current fiscal year. Over the last two years DOT has increased lane miles by more than 200.
Over 600,000 potholes have been filled since Mayor Bloomberg took office in January of 2002. In the last three years, 158,000 or 40% more potholes were filled than in the three years previous. Potholes are created when moisture seeps into the pavement freezes, expands, and then thaws, creating a void that eventually causes the collapse of the roadway under the pounding of traffic. Given the recent cold temperatures and subsequent rainfall, conditions are ripe for an abundance of potholes.
311 is invaluable in assisting DOT in responding to roadway defects and to coordinate with the Department of Environmental Protection in ensuring that street conditions are handled by the proper agency. Once notified of a pothole, DOT dispatches a crew who removes excess debris or material from the hole. Asphaltic cement is poured into the pothole, followed by a hot asphalt mixture. This material is compacted and the hole is again sealed with asphaltic cement to prevent water from penetrating the hole.
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
Katherine Sarlin (Department of Transportation)
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