Hempstead changes approach to fixing potholes amid swinging temperatures

MERRICK, Long Island (WABC) -- Significant temperature swings and winter snowstorms have created more potholes than normal on Long Island, and one Nassau County town is trying a different approach to keep things running smoothly.

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino on Thursday announced a plan to have a special unit specifically for potholes.

"This includes placing additional workers on pothole response teams, as well as using foreman to proactively seek out potholes in addition to fielding residents' calls," he said.

Now, the town is increasing its number of hot boxes from nine to 24.

"Where formally, only highway crews repaired potholes, two other departments have joined the highway team in the battle for smooth roads," he said. "Parks department and sanitation department workers have been cross trained to do the roadway repairs."

According to AAA, Americans spend $3 billion every year repairing their cars because of pothole damage. That damage can cost anywhere from $50 for a simple wheel alignment to $2,500 to fix an entire suspension.

"This program that we're implementing today gives us the opportunity to be proactive in Hempstead town," Santino said.

The Town of Hempstead is responsible for local, residential streets in neighborhoods, while the state and county oversee parkways and most major roads in commercial areas.

Reporting potholes:
To report potholes on Nassau County roads, call (516) 571-6900.
To report potholes on New York state roads, call 1-800-POT-HOLE.

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