Judy Cartwright Judy Cartwright

Judy Cartwright writes the Community Watchdog column

Drivers on the Sunrise Highway service road can't say they don't get a warning: Signs announce there's a "ROUGH ROAD AHEAD."

The washboard-like stretch of roadway in West Islip and North Babylon, near Route 231, prompted many calls and emails asking this: If the road is so bad it needs a warning sign, why not make the necessary repairs?

To quote just a few:

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"The surface of the road is horrible. Instead of repairing the road, someone installed a 'Rough Pavement' sign. Any idea who thought that was a solution?"

"Every time I drive over it I have to hang on to the wheel as I come down the ramp from 231 heading west . . . A few times I almost bounced off a pothole and hit a passing car."

"The service road is a mass of holes and broken roadway . . . the car you are driving is shaking and you can easily lose control of your vehicle."

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We asked the state Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction for Sunrise Highway/Route 27, how much longer drivers must endure the state of disrepair.

Answer: Until summer. Road paving, unlike pothole filling, requires warmer temperatures.

A "mill and fill" project -- which grinds away the top layer of roadway and replaces it with a new layer -- is scheduled for the paving season with completion by the end of the year, department spokeswoman Eileen Peters said in an email. The work is planned for the section from Udall Road west to Belmont Avenue.

As for how the roadway descended into such desperate straits: "The unusually rough conditions are the unfortunate result of numerous pothole repairs due to the severe winters over the last few years," Peters said.

And the sign? "The 'rough road ahead' sign is to warn motorists to take proper care when driving along this section," she said.



At Mitchel Field, three buildings next to the commissary parking lot sit in disrepair. We've called federal agencies, the county, the town, but nothing gets done.

-- Bill Kranis, Levittown

The buildings have been in shambles for years, said Kranis, a Navy veteran who with his wife, Carmen, shops at the Mitchel Field Commissary. He had tried to find out why the structures hadn't been rehabbed or razed and which municipality has jurisdiction. When he couldn't get results, he turned to us.

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We learned those buildings now belong to Nassau County.

"These properties were given to the county from the U.S. Navy along with other properties near the site," county spokesman Brian Nevin said in an email.

Some buildings on the property "have been rehabilitated and converted into homes for active duty military and veterans," he said, but the three in question "must be demolished."

The county will issue a request for proposals soon, Nevin said, asking companies to bid on the demolition project.

That can't happen fast enough for the Kranises. "So many people go to the commissary and have to see this," Carmen Kranis said. "It's an eyesore."

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The utility pole in front of my house splintered when a Jeep hit it in July 2013. LIPA installed a new pole and tied the broken one to it. I have made calls to Cablevision, LIPA and Verizon with no luck. I'm in fear this old pole will fall and hurt someone or worse.

-- Paul Larnaitis, Lindenhurst

The splintered telephone pole is a thing of the past.

We first reached out to Verizon, which is often tasked with removing old poles after utility companies have taken off their equipment. But it couldn't get this one out of the way until a guy wire and fiber cable were transferred to the new pole, Verizon spokesman John Bonomo said.

We next contacted PSEG Long Island about the guy wire and Sidera Networks for the fiber cable. Sidera is a telecommunications company that provides fiber-optic network solutions. Cablevision had already moved its wire by then, according to PSEG spokeswoman Elizabeth Flagler.

"The telephone and cable wires were in the way, which is why PSEG hadn't moved their wire previously," said Flagler.

Within days of our calls, the guy wire and fiber cable were removed. Verizon workers then took away the broken pole and filled in the hole left in the ground.

Residential customers with general inquiries for PSEG can call 631-755-6000, while outages or emergencies can be reported at 631-755-6900. Residents with Verizon-related issued can call 1-800-VERIZON.