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Rough roads: from bad to worse?

Residents slam potholed streets, shoddy repairs

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Wantagh and Seaford residents seem to be generally contented living on the South Shore, but when it comes to the roads, many agree that local streets are in terrible shape.

For Seaford resident Sean Urban, elevation is part of the problem. “I drive a sports car, and some of [the] potholes and bumps feel like they’ll crack my rims,” he wrote in a text message. “It’s teeth-knocking when you hit them.”

Washington Avenue and Jackson Avenue in Seaford are a combination of concrete and asphalt, according to Urban. “Many concrete sections have risen, and the town tries to repair them with asphalt, and they just result in a speed bump,” he wrote. “… The pothole[s] are many, and with the snow coming, it’s not about to get better.”

Peter John, of Wantagh, has also had experience with bad roads. The Town of Hempstead repaved part of Holiday Park Drive in front of his house. “I complained, and they repaved just in front of my house,” he wrote in a text. “Now my neighbors are wondering why I had the front paved, and no one else did.”

John said before Hurricane Sandy, the Town of Hempstead paved half of Holiday Park Drive. “They were scheduled to come back, but never did,” he wrote. “So the front half of Holiday Park Drive, from Jerusalem [Avenue] down, looks OK. The bottom half, that leads into Beltagh Avenue, looks like a war zone. And after this winter it will look worse.”

Joseph Davenport, the deputy chief of staff for Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, said the town’s Highway Department repairs potholes on a first-come, first-served basis. “The calls come in through the town’s helpline, they’re routed to the Highway Department and then they’re sent to the various local crews,” Davenport explained. “Local crews are assigned to different hamlets or areas of the town. And it gets on their work order list, and they address them in the order they’re received.”

Workers on streets with more than one pothole may try to take care of them all at the same time, even if it means fixing some of them out of order, according to Davenport.

The town’s annual capital plan budgets $25 million for road reconstruction, storm order improvements — for flood mitigation, such as catch basins — and infrastructure improvements.

Residents can file requests to have the town fix potholes three different ways, Davenport said. They can call the helpline at (516) 489-6000; they can fill out the forms found on the town’s website electronically; or they can use the town’s interactive map, https://hempsteadny.gov/map, to determine whether the village, town, county or state is responsible for a particular road.

Town of Hempstead crews had filled 4,479 potholes in Wantagh this year through the end of November, and 2,268 in Seaford, according to the town’s press secretary, Michael Fricchione, who said that two repair projects are tentatively scheduled to begin next April 1. “The proposed [five-year] Town of Hempstead Capital Plan includes over a half-mile of roadway rehabilitation, including storm drain improvements on Washington Ave in Seaford and 800 feet of new roadway on Gold Street in Wantagh,” Fricchione wrote in an email. “The work includes complete removal and replacement of pavement as well as replacement of sidewalks affected by any grade changes.”

About half of the area’s roads fall under the town’s jurisdiction, Davenport said; the rest are state, county or village roads. “There can be a lot of confusion among the residents,” he said, “and [the map] is just a way for them to very quickly determine who owns the road.” If the road a resident wants to have fixed is in another jurisdiction, the map lists contact numbers.