“One down, 47,000 to go,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, looking down at the pothole she had just filled. Curran worked alongside staffers from the county Department of Public Works on Jan. 23 to fill and pave a small stretch of potholes along The Boulevard in Sea Cliff. She also announced the expansion of the department’s pothole pilot program, which includes short-term pothole repair, long-term resurfacing projects and infrastructure goals for the year.
“As peak pothole season has descended upon us, my team has put an aggressive plan together to get Nassau’s roads back in top-notch condition,” Curran said at the news conference. “Everywhere I go, people ask about roads, and I want to assure everyone we are listening, and one by one we are addressing all of the problems.”
The county is undergoing a roadway sustainability and compliance study to address infrastructure through the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s United Planning Works Program. The study is assessing existing conditions on county-owned roads so DPW staff can prepare long-term plans to maintain them.
While conducting the study last fall, DPW launched a pilot program to complete short-term and interim resurfacing, which includes milling and filling larger areas of road in anticipation of permanent resurfacing projects. Kenneth Arnold, the county’s commissioner of public works, said the program prevents “repetitive maintenance” from occurring on the same roads year after year.
In Rockville Centre, last year, the county resurfaced Rockaway Avenue, from Atlantic Avenue to Woods Avenue, and South Park Avenue, from Park Place to Sunrise Highway. With the program’s success last year, Curran said, the DPW plans to expand its work in 2019. This year the department plans to double the number of lanes miles paved and repave 175 lane miles — a 130 percent increase over 2017.
This year, temporary resurfacing is set for Lakeview Avenue in Rockville Centre, from Long Beach Road to Seaman Avenue, according to county spokeswoman Mary Studdert. “We do not yet have a timeline for work,” she said in an email.
Julie Scully, spokeswoman for the village of Rockville Centre, noted that though the resurfacing project on Hempstead Avenue is a county job, it reflects efforts taken by the village over the last decade. Since Mayor Francis X. Murray entered office in 2011, she noted, nearly 20 miles of roadways have been repaved.
Scully added that streetscaping, which includes work on crosswalks, sidewalks, lighting and brick pavers, will take place this year on North Park Avenue, from Merrick Road to Sunrise Highway; North Village Avenue, from Sunrise Highway to the Long Island Rail Road station; and South Village Avenue, from Merrick Road to Lincoln Avenue. South Village Avenue, from Lincoln Avenue to Riverside Drive, and College Place, from North Park to Clinton avenues, are slated to be repaved, she said.
The department plans to change its bidding process for resurfacing contracts, too. “Historically, our DPW has bid multiple $4 million to $5 million resurfacing contracts, and we had three phases in construction going on at the same time around the county,” Curran said. “This year we are bundling these phases into a single, bigger contract.”
Curran said DPW will bid a $15 million road-resurfacing contract to solicit interest from new firms capable of completing larger projects, thus expanding the vendor pool. The new contract will also include incentives for the firm selected to complete the resurfacing of more than 60 lane miles during the 2019 paving season. The remaining 112 lane miles, Curran said, would be completed by smaller contractors.
“We’re beginning the hard work of reinvesting in our infrastructure to make sure when people are going to work, they can get there, and their car is safe,” Curran said. “A very basic function of municipal government is to have sound roads, and we’re rebuilding our infrastructure and our roads so that people can rely on them.”