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PR- 005-09
January 5, 2009


Nearly 21,000 Potholes Filled in the Last Five Weeks

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced today that pothole-filling season is in full swing citywide. With extreme winter weather impacting the City's more than 6,000 miles of streets, pothole season kicked off last month, and on any day up to 40 DOT crews are fanned out across the five boroughs filling potholes. In the last five weeks alone, DOT has filled 20,805 potholes citywide, with more than 80,000 potholes repaired in the last six months.  To reduce the occurrence of potholes, 1,000 lane miles will have been paved by the close of the fiscal year, the most in seven years.  The Mayor and Commissioner Sadik-Khan filled a pothole on Jerome Avenue in Sheepshead Bay.  Borough wide, 12,547 potholes reported to 311 were filled in Brooklyn, the most for any borough. Community Board 15, which includes Sheepshead Bay, had the most reported potholes in the Brooklyn, with 1,055 filled in the last year.

"We are in the midst of a citywide winter pothole blitz because our roadways are more than just traffic corridors, they are quality-of-life indicators," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "With 311 and our SCOUT program, we are identifying potholes faster than ever before and filling them faster than ever - typically in less than three days.  But the best defense against potholes is a good offense of paving streets and we are having our best year yet in street paving."

"Paving our streets and filling potholes means more than providing smooth sailing for buses, cars, trucks and cyclists this winter," said Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "Lane by lane, we are paving a more sustainable future for New York by recycling asphalt. Investing in our roadways enhances the safety and quality of life for those using City streets and is a down payment on creating a greener, greater New York City."

The City uses multiple tools to identify potholes as efficiently as possible, most prominently through 311 and the SCOUT (Street Conditions Observation Unit) program.  Through 311, the City received and filled 45,399 pothole complaints last year.  The SCOUT program, a group of inspectors whose mission is to drive every City street once per month and report conditions that negatively impact quality of life, reported 10,437 potholes last year. On average, a pothole is repaired within three days of being reported.

The City has made a major commitment to preventing potholes by increasing paving efforts.  This year, paving funding was increased to more than $132 million, up from $97 million two years ago.  With the increase, the City is on pace to pave 1,000 miles in the current fiscal year, the most in seven years.

New York is the national leader in environmentally friendly pothole repair, employing "RAP," which is 40% recycled asphalt product.  It is produced at DOT's asphalt plant, located on Hamilton Avenue in Brooklyn. By using this material, 174,000 tons of paving material was diverted from landfills in one year, and 840,000 barrels of oil were saved. Additionally, an estimated 320,000 miles of truck travel were saved each year by recycling the paving material. New York's use of RAP far exceeds that of any other large American city.


Stu Loeser / Marc La Vorgna   (212) 788-2958

Seth Solomonow   (Department of Transportation)
(212) 442-7033

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