NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Drivers beware!
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to slash the city’s road repair budget nearly in half could lead to much bigger problems than flat tires and bent axles, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported Thursday.
The condition of the city’s storm-damaged roads could easily lead to water main breaks, gas pipe explosions and other structural nightmares – that’s the cautionary tale and warning from City Councilman Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan), who is challenging de Blasio’s decision to cut the city’s road resurfacing budget from $244 million to $127 million.
“Whether it’s the gas lines, the water mains or steam, all of those sensitive pieces of city infrastructure are impacted when you have trucks and cars doing heavy thumping above ground every single day,” Garodnick said.
Garodnick said that if the mayor doesn’t increase the road resurfacing budget, hundreds of miles of roads damaged by the winter storms will not be fixed.
The mayor’s has said city-wide road repair is in full swing.
“I’m very proud to say than since Jan. 1 we have filled 311,000 potholes. We continue to set records,” de Blasio said.
However, Councilman Garodnick said that only resurfacing the entire roadway will do the trick.
“A former DOT commissioner said that the pothole fixes are like putting a Band-Aid on open-heart surgery,” Garodnick said. “The resurfacing of the roads is the complete fix.”
The councilman said that 1,000 lane miles have fallen out of good repair and that a third of the roads in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx are poor.
Another 405 lane miles on Staten Island and in Manhattan need work, Kramer reported.
“The roads are a mess,’ Garodnick said.
The question is: will de Blasio restore the funds?
“We’re going to do all that we think we can do while balancing the many, many needs in the budget,” the mayor said.
New Yorkers seem to agree with Garodnick.
“I’m waiting for something to break in my car,” one person said.
“It has been the worst,” another added.
We won’t know the mayor’s decision until May 8, when he unveils the new budget, which is a big headache for the mayor. He has to somehow find money to settle more than 150 labor contracts, Kramer reported.
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