GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Town Supervisor Paul Feiner is reporting on potholes, why temporary potholes don't always work and why the town needs to spend more money to repave roads.
Many residents have asked why potholes are such a big problem and why pothole repairs between the transition months of winter and spring don’t always work. One of the problems is it is very difficult to patch roads when the road conditions are wet.
During this week, for example, we have sent crews to put a cold patch on potholes. Because the road is wet, the temporary fix only may last until the next rain. Hot asphalt is being used now, but if the weather does not cooperate the pothole might not last. Greenburgh is not the only community in the region that has a major pothole problem. It’s everyone – state, county and local roads are a mess!
Why are there potholes? Potholes are a weakness in roads due to age and other outstanding factors. Water gets in …freezes and thaws thus contributing to the growing number of potholes. Due to the severe winter, the amount of times we salt and plow roads helps contribute to deteriorating road conditions. The roads in New York have taken a severe beating due to these facts.
These are the issues we’re facing: The patch doesn’t last. The material from the patch has to be swept or cleaned off the right of way. In some cases we have to clear the material out of the drainage infrastructure. That all is expensive — due to time and material. We don’t cut corners — our concern is the safety of residents.
There are hundreds of potholes. After I get a complaint from residents, the pothole repair order is immediately forwarded to our crews. The commissioner and deputy commissioner of public works sometimes e-mail their staff close to midnight, following up on your concerns. We try to repair quickly. But because there are so many potholes, priority has to be given to the most traveled roads.
I’m currently working on the proposed capital budget for 2015. The budget will be adjusted because of the severe winter. Last year, the town appropriated $1.5 million in the capital budget for road repaving. We were able to locate additional dollars that hadn’t been spent. This year, I anticipate recommending to the town board that we appropriate significantly more so we can repave roads that are in desperate condition.
Road conditions around the entire state are deteriorating due to lack of money and the state legislation that requires local governments to comply with the tax cap. I plan to renew my request to the governor and state Legislature to delete road repaving from the tax cap formula or to substantially increase aid to all local governments so we can do a much better job of repaving roads.
No matter what is spent – it’s difficult for most governments in New York to catch up. We need to spend money to save money. If roads are not repaved, the cost of maintenance increases with labor hours and material.
Due to the fact that the money is so limited, most governments prioritize the roads that need repaving. In an ideal situation, we would repave before it gets to the point that roads need to be rebuilt. We do our best to get to the roads before they have to be totally rebuilt.
Under the pothole there is dirt, sand, grit. The material washes into the basin —impacting the environment.
In addition, some of the roads (such as West Hartsdale, 119, Dobbs Ferry Road, 9A) are not within our jurisdiction. There are state and county roads in Greenburgh, and the state and county are responsible for road repaving, pothole fixing or repairs on their roads. We forward complaints to the correct person.
Please feel free to continue to e-mail me with pothole conditions that need attention. I hope this information will help you understand what we’re facing. My e-mail is email@example.com
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