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PR- 098-10
March 4, 2010


More than 15,000 Potholes Filled since Last Week's Snowstorm

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today helped fill the Administration's 'two-millionth' pothole as part of a post-snowstorm pothole filling blitz. There are currently 40 crews fanned out across the five boroughs every day, including nights and weekends, dedicated to filling potholes created by recent poor weather conditions. Since Saturday, crews have filled more than 15,000 potholes, bringing the Administration's eight year total to more than two million potholes filled. This fiscal year, the City has filled approximately 21 percent more potholes than during the same period last year. Harsh weather conditions, with record rainfall during the summer and record snowfall this winter, caused the increase in the number of potholes on City streets. The Mayor, Commissioner Sadik-Khan and Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro filled a pothole on Slater Boulevard in Staten Island.

"This winter has been a long and snowy one, placing enormous stress on our roads," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Fortunately, the City's workforce is rising to the challenge posed by this season's record snowfall, filling more than 15,000 potholes since Saturday in a pothole blitz. We have been able to identify and fill an astounding 2 million potholes since 2002, in part because we have given New Yorkers the power to help the City get the job done through 311, and by adding another set of eyes on the street with our SCOUT inspectors. By meticulously tracking all pothole data, making it available to the public and holding agencies accountable for results, we have vastly decreased the time it takes to fill a pothole in the City."

"The streets are the backbone of New York City, and putting a lid on potholes allows us to keep New Yorkers moving," said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. "While we all hope the punishing winter weather will ease in the last weeks of the season, the hardworking men and women of DOT will not let up in their effort to smooth the streets."

The latest pothole blitz builds on the Department of Transportation's ongoing efforts during the winter months to combat potholes. The department fills an average of 2,000 potholes a day, but with additional crews dedicated, working 10-hour shifts, up to 3,000 to 4,000 potholes can be filled in a single day, which is the pace crews are working at during this current repair blitz. Nearly 190,000 potholes already have been filled this fiscal year.  

The City uses multiple accountability tools to track the occurrence of potholes and the speed of repair. Through 311, the City has received 32,016 pothole complaints this fiscal year, including more than 3,000 in the last week. The City's Street Conditions Observation Unit (SCOUT), a group of inspectors that drive every City street once per month and report conditions that negatively impact quality of life, has reported nearly 6,000 potholes this fiscal year.

The speed of potholes repair is tracked monthly on the Citywide Performance Review system. Due to record rainfall this summer, which helped produce more potholes and prevented crews from filling potholes on many days in the early months of the fiscal year, the average time to fill a pothole has increased slightly from last year's pace. Efforts have been re-doubled to increase the pace of filling potholes - in the last month reported, January, the average time to repair a pothole was 1.4 days, one the fastest monthly averages recorded. In 2001, only two-thirds of potholes were filled within one month of being reported.

Since July 2008, the Department of Transportation began using an environmentally friendly cold-mix asphalt or "green patch" when appropriate, which does not use petroleum additives. To date, the City has applied 1,600 tons of the environmentally friendly cold patch to repair potholes. Additionally, New York City is the national leader in the use of 'RAP' - a 40 percent recycled asphalt product. It is produced at the department's asphalt plant, located on Hamilton Avenue in Brooklyn. By using this material, 225,000 tons of paving material was diverted from landfills in one year, and more than 1 million barrels of oil were saved. Additionally, an estimated 320,000 miles of truck travel were saved each year by recycling the paving material. The City's use of RAP far exceeds that of any other American city.

To reduce the occurrence of potholes and keep streets and roadways smooth, the Department of Transportation maintains an aggressive schedule to resurface streets throughout all five boroughs. The agency recently paved 570 lane miles of streets from July to December, leaving it on track to pave 825 lane miles by the close of the fiscal year.


Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna   (212) 788-2958

Seth Solomonow (DOT)   (212) 839-4850

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