Brookhaven Town officials are spending $17 million this year to repave roads, but they admit it is not nearly enough to repair highways riddled with cracks and potholes.
Highway Superintendent Daniel Losquadro said he plans to complete 21 projects this year during a paving season that began April 15 and is expected to run through the fall. He said he would like to pave more roads this year, but is limited by budget constraints.
He said he has a list of more than $100 million worth of paving jobs that he believes must be completed to fix the town's worst highway headaches.
"I don't say it's frustrating, because it's the reality of it," Losquadro said in a recent interview. "This is a five- to 10-year plan of how we're going to get this work done."
Officials in Brookhaven, which has more than 3,300 miles of town roads, allocated $13 million for paving this year; the state contributed $4 million for additional work. This year's paving projects are spread more or less equally though the town's six council districts.
While some neighborhoods get new road surfaces, residents in other communities often are left wondering when it will be their turn.
Diana Esposito of Manor Lane in Stony Brook said she watched enviously a few weeks ago as roads were paved only a mile away in the hamlet's "B" section, where streets have names such as Beaverdale and Blueberry. She said a Highway Department staffer told her Manor Lane is not scheduled for fresh pavement this year, though potholes were filled.
"I called it a Third World-country road before they patched up the potholes," Esposito said. "Now I see the B section being totally done, so if there was no money, how come the B section is being done?"
Deputy Highway Superintendent Steve Tricarico said Manor Lane may be paved next year.
Roads are selected for repaving based on several factors, Losquadro said. Some, such as a Moriches neighborhood scheduled for repaving this year, are picked because they have not been paved for years, he said. Stony Brook's B section made the list because its "entire surface had been deteriorated," Losquadro said.
Losquadro said he tells residents: "It's not that I don't know about your road. It's just that it's not possible to get that done all in one year."
Town Councilman Kevin LaValle said he would seek additional state and federal grants to supplement town spending for improved roads. "We really have to live within a budget," LaValle, the town board's highway department liaison, said. "Dan's been working hard in identifying the worst roads that we have and really doing everything we can to get them done."
Shawn Nuzzo, president of The Civic Association of the Setaukets and Stony Brook, said officials face a daunting task.
"It goes beyond just everyone wants their road paved annually," he said. "We have more roadways than we can possibly maintain."
Brookhaven Town's 2015 paving program, by the numbers:
$13 million: Town allocation for repaving projects
$3.5 million: From state Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS)
$501,177.33: From state Extreme Winter Recovery program
$17 million: Total repaving allocations