Brookhaven’s new highway chief plans to discuss what he describes as the department’s improvements at a news conference tomorrow in Coram, town officials announced.
Dan Losquadro said he will be at the department’s headquarters, outlining the renewed focus on emergency preparedness, equipment updates and revamping current practices in the four months since he was elected highway superintendent.
“We’ve been looking very hard at the type of equipment we have,” he said. “By the time storm season hits this year, we’ll have a dozen more six-wheel trucks that are heavy duty.”
In February, the highway department was heavily criticized for what residents said was poor performance during a major blizzard.
Losquadro also noted that the department recently learned how to improve the response to rainfall after the spate of recent rainstorms.
“The terrible rain event we just had, it exposed a lot of weaknesses we had,” he said of a storm that dumped five inches of rain on Brookhaven. “We identified areas where we had flooding, and we've embarked on improvements. If you can find the silver lining to the rain, it's allowing us to address those concerns prior to tropical storm season.”
Losquadro said the department also updated a decade-old high priority list of roads that need resurfacing.
“The old list was about a thousand roads, and I inherited that. I wasn't sold on the validity of it,” he said. “There seemed to be roads on there that had already been paved, and it brings the whole list into question.”
The updated list has about 700 roads in need of nearly $75 million of work, and he is identifying the most urgent projects such as “high traffic areas, areas near schools, roads that have been neglected.”
Losquadro said he’ll also announce new alternative fuels for the highway fleet, and new measures to increase accountability and transparency.
“In four months time, we’re going to change 40 years of how things are done here,” he said.