According to LongIsland.com, Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a $13.9 million project to repave over 16 miles of roads in the towns of North Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Smithtown, Riverhead and Babylon.
The multi-million dollar project is part of a statewide effort by Gov. Cuomo to repair roads that were damaged as the result of a deep frost last winter. In total, the state is investing $75 million into the paving projects.
“With another winter around the corner, it is critically important that our roadways are in the best possible shape and able to withstand whatever Mother Nature has in store,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement.
“With these projects, we are strengthening Long Island’s vital transportation network and making our roadways safer for all motorists.”
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that 45% of the roads in the U.S. are in poor, mediocre, or fair condition. Long Islanders will tell you that the percentage of “poor roads” in their area is closer to 100%.
According to local news affiliate WABC, some drivers are at their wits’ end with the poor road conditions.
“The pothole condition here on Long Island is horrendous,” said Nick Vessio, a motorist. “Thank God I have heavy duty suspension, because I’ve been riding around banging my head on the ceiling, you probably need more likely a Humvee like they use in Iraq or Afghanistan it could probably handle the potholes a lot better!”
Alec Slatky of AAA New York agrees with frustrated drivers like Vessio, but also realizes that expensive projects like the one Cuomo has initiated are difficult to organize.
“This is an investment in the Long Island road network that is sorely needed,” Slatky said.
“That’s where the rubber meets the road because you need money at the federal level, you need money at the state level, you need money at the local level, and all of those levels of government are strapped for cash.”
LongIsland.com also reports that all repairs will take place in “off-peak” traffic hours between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The schedule is part of the “Drivers First” initiated in 2012 by Gov. Cuomo that prioritizes the convenience of drivers over municipal disruptions.
While the $14 million project is a step in the right direction, Long Island residents may have something to say about whether or not the state really takes driver convenience into consideration.