When Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso announced last week that the Department of Transportation will resurface the Northern State Parkway next summer, my initial thought was, “Oh, good.” But then my mind wandered to that next summer, sitting somewhere between the Queens border and Carle Place, angrily squeezing the wheel as I sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a 90-degree July evening.
The repaving project will reach from Queens to the Meadowbrook Parkway, and will include entrance and exit ramps. Make no mistake: The roads need work. Some stretches on Long Island resemble the surface of the moon, chewing up our ties and costing us repair money along the way. But the problem isn’t the roadwork, instead, it’s when they choose to do the roadwork.
In an ideal world, such a project would take place in the middle of the night, preferably around 2 a.m. And that might happen here, but experience tells me otherwise. Chances are this work will take place at random hours of the day and night, inconveniencing all of us on the already heavily congested summer roadways. The same goes for construction on local thoroughfares all over the island—far too often some construction crew is seen digging a seemingly random hole on the side of the road during the evening rush hour. Why are they digging a hole and more importantly, why are they digging it at 6 p.m.?
Road maintenance is essential, especially on an island where there are millions of drivers clogging the roads and very little in terms of convenient public transit options. But the transportation department must be better about managing when that maintenance takes place and make an effort to at least try to keep the island’s arteries smoothly moving along.
And if that means paying the workers overtime, then county officials need to open their wallets.
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