As 2015 rolls in, the Village of New Hyde Park is preparing to continue the road construction project to rebuild deteriorating roads in the area.
Mayor Robert Lofaro said he is working with Department of Public Works Superintendent Tom Gannon and engineers from Dvirka & Bartilucci on the annual road construction project, which costs the village between $1 million and $1.5 million per year.
Depending on the condition of the individual roads, $1 million dollars covers about seven to eight roads, said Trustee Larry Montreuli after Tuesday night’s board meeting.
Lofare said he, Gannon and the engineers are evaluating the roads to determine which roads should be given the highest priority,
“Sometimes people see someone’s road getting done and then they’re like ‘Hey, why isn’t my road getting done?’ Everyone seems to think that their road is the worst so we have to rely on the engineers to really justify this is why we’re doing this road last,” explained Montreuli.
When the roads are evaluated they are given a grade from A-F, with ‘F’ being the absolute worst. A road worthy of an ‘F’ grade typically has a lot of patches and potholes.
The project itinerary begins with the roads with the ‘F’ grade and works through the list from there. The roads in the village are periodically re-evaluated in case they worsen in the time that comes before they are constructed on (For example, a road that was considered a ‘B’ road a few years ago could be a ‘C’ or ‘D’ today)
Since 2001 there were seven completed road improvement projects in the village, Lofaro said at the board meeting.
There is approximately 20 miles of road throughout the village, and Lofaro said about 13 miles of this road (about 62 percent) has already been reconstructed.
“We see a light at the end of the tunnel, so we’re getting there,” he said.
When the annual road construction projects started close to 15 years ago, all of the roads were “really deteriorating and everyone was going crazy,” Montreuli said.
The former New Hyde Park mayor decided to fix the roads and levied a 37 percent tax increase to do so, which enraged the villagers even more, he said.
“Then there was almost a rebellion – actually a revolt – because a big movement occurred that they wanted to disband the village,” Montreuli saaid. “It went to court and it wasn’t successful.”
Since then the project fell into the board’s hands, and they are funding the project a little at a time with money allocated for it in the budget.
The progress of the road construction project could be tracked on the village’s website VNHP.org, where there is a color-coordinated map showing the completed projects.
“It seems like a lot of colors on the map, but there’s still a fair amount of roads that still needs to be done,” said Lofaro, adding that an updated version of the map is expected to be on the site within the next week.