For the first time in more than a decade, pockmarked roads in Williston Park will get repaved after $903,000 in federal funds have been released by the state Department of Transportation, the village mayor and a Long Island congressman said Friday.
In 2004, Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Roslyn Heights) secured $1 million in federal transportation funds for the village to repave roadways. The village received $97,000, but the state DOT, citing fiscal problems, would not release the remainder, Ackerman said.
Ackerman said he learned from state Sen. Craig Johnson (D-Port Washington) that Williston Park hadn't received the money.
"We called up the state DOT and we told them this is federal earmarked dollars and that they can't spend it at their discretion," he said. "They agreed to release the money and allow the project to go forward."
Mayor Ludwig Odierna said he's eager to see construction begin. "As soon as the weather breaks, we're going to start the repair work," he said.
The repaving will include: William Street, Cushing Avenue, Astor Place, Cornell Street, Broad Street and Syracuse Street.
"I don't think it's right that New York State held it up," Odierna said, adding that the village hasn't had any road work done in 12 years. "We have a dysfunctional government in New York State. I think that is unfortunate."
Despite bureaucracy and budget problems, "some bureaucrat can't just take it and spend it on something else," Ackerman said.
Ackerman visited William Street on Friday afternoon where he noted that the road was "cracked" and "getting old."