NORTH HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Funding multiple road repairs to the same streets after newly paved roads were dug up for utility work has been called a boondoggle by taxpayers on Long Island.
Now, North Hempstead is saying no more.
Joanne Pareira is among the frustrated homeowners in Port Washington dealing with multiple road rip ups. Doreen and Michael Berne complain their street was repaved by the town only to have utility companies come in weeks later to dig it up again.
“We had to wait two or three weeks to get the potholes filled in,” Michael said.
Patchwork checkerboards seem to be everywhere, leaving homeowners off Plandrome Road delayed and frustrated. Officials in North Hempstead say they’ve heard enough, passing a law restricting gas, electric, and water utilities’ road repairs.
“So if we’ve actually reconstructed a road within the last five years, they’re not getting a permit,” Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said.
The town says it’s all about communication and coordination. It contacts utility companies when local roads are being resurfaced to allow them opportunity to do repairs. At the same time, its villages and hamlets suffer when utilities’ capital plans abruptly change.
The utilities claim its rarely a problem, and that they’re good neighbors.
“You just have to go with it and not allow it to affect you,” one homeowner said.
National Grid, PSEG, and water companies are pledging to cooperate with the new law, saying in the future roads will only be torn up in cases of emergency.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an initiative to curb street cuts, advising utility companies share work schedules with borough officials.