Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that thanks to a ten-year investment of $1.6 billion in street repaving, New York City had this week paved its 5,000th lane-mile since 2014. That’s over 1/4 of the 19,000 total lane-miles citywide, long enough for a road to Las Vegas and back. The increased repaving has driven down potholes 44 percent. The Mayor made the announcement while visiting a Department of Transportation yard on Staten Island, where 42 percent of roadways have been resurfaced in the last four years.
“Smoother streets have meant fewer potholes. We paved it forward with a big investment in repaving, and the men and women of the DOT have delivered,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We will keep up this pace, and bring on new equipment, new asphalt and new ways to avoid the frustration of newly paved streets getting dug up.”
“For nearly a decade and a half prior to the de Blasio Administration, the streets of Staten Island and New York City suffered the structural fatigue of disinvestment,” said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. “I remember the first one-on-one formal presentation I made on this issue to the Mayor at Staten Island Borough Hall in October 2014. We asked for an extraordinary effort. What has resulted since that meeting has been more than that — it has been historic. Our job is far from done, including closing the back door of ‘street cuts,’ but the improvement in our roads is tangible, noticeable and most appreciated. The Administration’s sustained commitment to Pave, Baby, Pave is something to herald from Tottenville to St. George and across this metropolis.”
The Mayor also announced several investments and innovations coming to DOT’s paving efforts:
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Reining in street cuts for utility work – A newly paved street can last 10 to 20 years. But too often, repaved streets are quickly marred by utility “street cuts.” Starting in July, the DOT will dramatically reduce street cuts for repairs for a full two years after a street is repaved on Staten Island (the current permit-hold time is 18 months, with any repairs made during that time requiring significant and costly restoration of the street at the utility’s expense). If successful, the policy will be applied citywide. Going forward, DOT will also meet regularly with National Grid and Con Edison to better plan and coordinate any disruptive work they plan on city roadways.
New paving equipment – As part of the City’s increased investment in paving, DOT announced that it has made a $36 million investment in its fleet of street paving equipment – including new trucks, milling equipment and steamrollers — that have increased the productivity and efficiency of its Roadways work crews.
Rubberized asphalt – After a recent successful pilot along Fingerboard Road on Staten Island, DOT will be looking to expand the use of innovative roadway materials that combines recycled crumb rubber with liquid asphalt. Rubberized streets appear to suffer fewer cracks and also offer quieter drives.
Red asphalt – DOT will expand the use of red asphalt for dedicated bus lanes. Bus lanes paved with red asphalt are more cost-effective: they last longer and completely eliminate the need for street painting and touch-ups.
High-Performance Asphalt Overlay – After the successful conversions of Manhattan’s First Avenue and Fordham Road in the Bronx, DOT will explore the transformation of the City’s concrete roadways with a new overlay of asphalt. Concrete roads with an asphalt layer reduce traffic noise and are less expensive to repair.
DOT indicated major streets in every borough that will be repaved in the last six weeks of the current fiscal year that ends on June 30, including:
- Third and Fifth Avenues in Manhattan
- Castle Hill and Lafayette Avenues in the Bronx
- Northern and Vernon Boulevards in Queens
- Rochester and Troy Avenues in Brooklyn
- Arden Avenue and Todt Hill Road on Staten Island
“5,000 miles of repaved roadways is a really big deal, and it is definitely something worth celebrating,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “Ensuring our roads are safe and well taken care of has always been a priority for the City Council and I applaud Mayor de Blasio and DOT for making this investment in street repaving.”
“Thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s unprecedented investment in paving over the last four years, we have reached this significant milestone while at the same time seeing potholes and pothole complaints decline dramatically – by more than fifty percent,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “As our paving crews now transition from potholes to road repaving, we ask that New York drivers give them the necessary space and maintain a safe speed as we try to pave as many streets during these warm weather months.”
“Thank you to DOT for getting this much-needed work done on Staten Island,” said Congress Member Dan Donovan. “I look forward to our future collaboration to address Staten Island’s transportation needs.”
“Since my colleagues and I worked with the administration to drastically increase the budget for street repaving and to emphasize long-term restorations over patchwork repairs, nearly half of the roads on Staten Island have been repaved,” said Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo.
“That is no small feat, especially given the dilapidated state our roads were in when this Mayor took office. Borough President Oddo, Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg rightfully deserve credit for this great work and I look forward to continue working with them to keep these efforts going.”
“For too long, our roads were left to deteriorate, worsening year after year under the weight of traffic, salt and ice,” said Council Member Debi Rose. “That downward trajectory changed in 2015, when we began to invest additional money in our roads, and as a result, we are now in a much better place. From Mariners Harbor to Rosebank, this increased funding has made a real difference in the quality of life of everyone who uses our roads. It also improves our safety and our wallets, as we now spend less time veering left and right to avoid potholes. I thank everyone who worked together to make this milestone possible and I look forward to the coming paving season.”
In 2015, the Mayor announced a $1.6 billion commitment to resurface roads all over the city over ten years. DOT repaved 1,265 lane miles in FY16, and 1,324 lane miles in FY17. So far in FY18, crews have resurfaced over 1,000 lane-miles. It is the highest three-year output of paved lane-miles in DOT’s recorded history.
DOT both procures and produces asphalt at its two plants for resurfacing and filling potholes. In 2017, DOT used nearly 1.3 million tons of asphalt. For information about DOT’s ongoing work to address potholes and maintain the City’s road network, please visit www.nyc.gov/dot
Pothole conditions should be reported immediately to The Daily Pothole or to 311.