Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio rolled up his sleeves and got his hands dirty as he filled an enormous pothole with the Department of Transportation (DOT) at 69th Lane and 60th Avenue in Maspeth.
De Blasio said it was more fun than shoveling snow, and he announced the city is launching a comprehensive plan to battle potholes. So far, DOT crews have filled a record-breaking 113,131 potholes and plan to resurface 1,000 lane miles by the summer to prevent more potholes from forming.
“This winter has really challenged the men and women of the DOT,” de Blasio said.
The DOT has already undertaken an unprecedented campaign to repair potholes caused by freeze-and-thaw cycles from this winter’s storms. This year’s total so far exceeds the 50,434 and 41,893 potholes patched at this point in 2013 and 2012, respectively.
The new plan will significantly expand those efforts. With weekly pothole blitzes, targeted repaving for areas in dire need of repair, industry-leading maintenance materials and efficiency, and even better interagency coordination, the plan would involve all of DOT's divisions and partners.
To facilitate and accelerate the extraordinary number of road repairs needed this winter, the city will be allocating an additional $7.3 million to DOT's budget, which will be reflected in the coming fiscal year.
“These men and women that work for the DOT do extraordinary work,” the mayor said. “For me, it’s an honor to spend time with the people that make the city work so well.”
Joy Schlap, who lives on 69th Lane, appreciated the effort of the mayor and the DOT and said the pothole had been there for a couple days.
“It’s like a minefield,” Schlap said.