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PR- 466-07
December 17, 2007


As Paving Season Ends and Pothole Repair Season Begins, Mayor Reminds New Yorkers to Call 311 to Report Potholes

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that Department of Transportation (DOT) crews were on pace this year to pave the 5,000th lane-mile of street since 2002, and to announce the traditional kick off to pothole season in New York.  Fully one quarter of City streets have been repaved under the Bloomberg Administration.  The Mayor made the announcement on Carlton Avenue in Fort Greene, where the City DOT crews were resurfacing the street after transforming it into a safer, landscaped stretch of road-one of the last paving projects of 2007.  DOT is on track to pave 950 lane-miles of roads this year, an Administration high, and has plans to pave more than 1000 miles next year.  Keeping streets in a state of good repair has helped result in a 20% decline in traffic fatalities since 2002.  The Mayor was joined at the announcement by DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan

"Keeping our streets in good condition is an important priority for our Administration.  Today we are marking a significant milestone for what really is a basic quality of life issue - good, safe streets.  The change in weather we've seen over the past few weeks also brings about a change in road conditions with freezing and thawing often resulting in potholes," said Mayor Bloomberg, "As winter officially is upon us in a few days, I want to remind New Yorkers to help us by calling 311 to report potholes, which will allow us to get crews out to repair them quickly.  Between 311 and our new SCOUT program, where crews out on the street report problems to specific agencies, we have seen a drastic reduction in the time it takes to repair a pothole." 

"DOT pothole repair crews are already out in the streets citywide, filling the potholes that were created by these latest freeze/thaw cycles - more than 70,000 in the past five months," said Commissioner Sadik-Khan.  "Throughout the winter, there will be as many as 40 pothole crews available daily for road repair. Our crews fill the equivalent of 22 potholes every hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In spring, when paving resumes, we will increase the number of paving crews by 20%, from 10 to 12 citywide."

DOT has repaired nearly 1.25 million potholes since 2002, and has 40 pothole crews available daily for road repair in winter months when paving crews are reassigned.  There is traditionally a spike in pothole related calls and repair crews dispatched during winter months.  The public plays an important role in eradicating potholes by reporting street defects to 311, which allows DOT to respond quickly.  The Mayor's newly launched SCOUT program also notifies DOT of potholes - resulting in 1,300 being reported last month.  As a result, pothole repair rates have improved substantially.  Now, 99% are repaired within 30 days of being reported, up from 65% in 2002. 

Once notified of a pothole, DOT dispatches a crew that 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.

This year, the Bloomberg administration increased paving funding by $11 million, from $97 million to $108 million, allowing for additional paving crews in the spring when paving resumes.  Carlton Avenue in Brooklyn is one of the last paving jobs of the 2007 season.  The DOT transformed the chaotic road into a two-way street with a tree-planted median, flanked by bike lanes to provide safety while calming traffic-all without the loss of street parking for nearby residents and businesses.


Stu Loeser / John Gallagher   (212) 788-2958

Seth Solomonow   (212) 442 7033

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