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Islip to finish paving Brookdale Avenue

(L-R) Homeowners Donald Ray Cummings and his neighbor,

(L-R) Homeowners Donald Ray Cummings and his neighbor, Douglas DeBlase, stand on Brookdale Road in Islip where the newly-paved road meets a section of road that has not been repaired. (Oct. 23, 2012) Credit: Heather Walsh

When the Islip Town paving trucks began working on Brookdale Avenue, Donald Raymond Cummings thought, finally, after decades, his cracked and pockmarked road in the hamlet of Baywood would get a face-lift.

But the shiny new layer of blacktop down Brookdale, a windy 1.3-mile road that runs from Udall Road to West Bay Shore Road, stopped about 25 feet before Cummings' home, leaving about a half-mile of the road as it was and neighbors scratching their heads.

"I don't know how the hell they can come down three blocks and just quit," said Cummings, 76, a retiree who has lived in his house for 46 years.

Douglas DeBlase, 53, who also lives on Brookdale, said he pulls his grandson in a wagon and struggles to avoid the road's bumps and cracks. "It looks like garbage," he said.

Cummings said workers told him that budget limitations kept the town from paving the entire stretch. He called the town several times -- and got results.

After Cummings' calls -- and a Newsday inquiry -- Tom Owens, Islip's Department of Public Works commissioner, visited Cummings' home Tuesday and promised to pave the entire road by the end of next week.

"I decided to pull the trigger on it this season," said Owens in a phone interview. "It's tough when you pave and you finish in front of someone's house, that certainly puts someone in a bad spot."

Owens denied he reversed course because Cummings had contacted Newsday. In this case, he said, the road was paved because of drainage issues. Town officials had planned to complete the paving next year.

The town's road paving schedule runs roughly from mid-April to mid-November, depending on weather. The total cost is about $218,000, said Owens, who said he'll likely forgo paving another road.

In 2012, the town budgeted about $5.1 million for road paving, which on average covers about 10 percent of the town's 1,300 miles of roads. "I may have to put off a road that wasn't in as bad condition," said Owens. "It's hard to balance everything."

A few minutes after Owens left Cummings' house Tuesday, Cummings rang Newsday and said he was satisfied. "He asked a lot of questions," Cummings said of the commissioner. "I had initially gotten the runaround. He said, 'We're going to do the whole street.' It makes me feel better."

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