State spending $30M to treat Long Island's pothole plague

A pothole remains open on Selfridge Avenue on A pothole remains open on Selfridge Avenue on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 in Garden City. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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Long Island's pothole season is coming to an end, and springtime repaving is underway, with about $30 million to be spent on four projects covering 24 miles of heavily traveled state roads.

"Although these projects were preplanned, this past winter made their necessity all the more urgent," state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Eileen Peters said Monday.

"On these particular stretches of roads, our crews had been repairing potholes on top of potholes, so it was a continuous daily battle to keep up as a result of this very, very harsh winter," Peters said. "This should provide some much-needed relief for Long Island motorists."

She said the Long Island Region of the DOT used 2,599 tons of asphalt for pothole repairs between Jan. 1 and April 3 of this year -- compared with 1,574 tons during the same period last year.

The project with the most impact on Long Islanders who drive into New York City is likely to be the repaving of the Long Island Expressway along four miles between Roslyn Heights and the New York City line, which will result in lane closures this summer and again early next year when the work is expected to be finished.

The work was scheduled to start Monday night and will mean all westbound traffic will be diverted to the service road from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday to Friday until the end of June, according to the NYSDOT.

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When repaving begins on eastbound lanes in July, that traffic will also be diverted to the service road, the agency said. The work may be suspended in fall during the cold weather and resume early next year, with completion scheduled for spring 2015, the DOT said.

The state was also to begin major repaving work Monday night on 8.6 miles of Sunrise Highway between Broadway in Lynbrook and the Wantagh State Parkway, and on another 3.2-mile stretch of Sunrise Highway between the Nassau-Suffolk border and North Monroe Avenue in Lindenhurst.

State Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said in a statement that the Sunrise Highway project would provide "a more enjoyable ride for the more than 50,000 drivers who use this section of Sunrise Highway each day."

Repaving work began March 27 on 8.2 miles of Montauk Highway in Southampton and East Hampton that will cause lane shifts until work is finished next spring.

All the projects will involve putting a new layer of asphalt on the roadway, but there will be additional features for each project.

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There will be bicycle path striping and more visible crosswalks on the Montauk Highway project. The LIE project will include the installation of new motion detectors to keep DOT managers current on traffic conditions.

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