Fast track on Malverne’s roads

Roughly 43 percent of village streets are repaired

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Driving through the Village of Malverne has been a rocky experience for drivers in recent years. Malverne Mayor Keith Corbett has likened some of the damaged roads to the mountainous terrain of Beirut. However, the village board has made progress in its five-year road-improvement program.

Over the past seven months, about 43 percent of all the roads in the village have been repaired, according to Corbett. The village invested $3 million in the project, but saved roughly $175,000 through a requirements contract that it entered with Bancker Construction for less costly asphalt.

“None of this could be done without the assistance of our village board, the [Department of Public Works] and the residents that trusted us to get this done,” Corbett said.

The village board started its five-year plan to improve roads in 2016, but utility projects delayed the work. Last year, National Grid upgraded the natural gas system in the village, and New York American Water updated over 10,300 linear feet — just under two miles — of water mains. In addition, PSEG Long Island initiated a plan to install a 7.3-mile, 138-kilovolt underground transmission line between Garden City and Lynbrook. Corbett said that after meetings in recent months with the utilities, the village board established a communications policy among all parties.

“The relationship with all three utilities has really done a 180,” Corbett said. “It started off tense, but they realized that we wanted to protect the interest of residents and taxpayers. Through our communications plan, we were really able to push the utilities through because we were able to make sure that they stayed on top of their deadlines.”

Corbett said that the next focus would be on roads such as Doncaster Road and Morris Avenue, along with the better part of the village’s Westwood section.

“At this juncture, we’re not done,” Corbett said. “We’ll keep going [because] we know there are roads out there that need to be fixed.”

Former DPW Superintendent Paul Jessup, who now works as a consultant for the village, said that the work was able to get done by establishing a clear and concise plan. “Nobody likes surprises,” Jessup said. “We’re not a big department, but we get a lot done because we’re all on the same page and we all take pride in our job. We’ve accomplished what we set out to do at this time.”

When Jessup stepped down as superintendent in September, Malvernite Kevin Brady was appointed to the position. Transitioning to superintendent while helping to coordinate the village’s roads improvement project was not easy, Brady admitted, but he said that having 30 years of experience with the DPW helped get the work done.

“We were able to pull it off in the most efficient way we could and we tried not to impact the residents and disrupt their daily lives,” Brady said. “I think we achieved that by working together as one,” Brady said.

Now that three years of the plan is complete, Corbett said the village would like to rework the procedure for other damaged roads. The village will postpone repairs during the winter months.

Thoughts about road conditions in Malverne? Send your letter to the editor to ngrant@liherald.com.