With harsh winter conditions comes severe road deterioration. Throughout Long Island, severe potholes have led to cars damaging their tires amongst other safety hazards, causing major concern for residents.
Huntington Highway Superintendent Andre Sorrentino said he has made great efforts since the last storm to relieve local residents of the worry of damaging their cars on the roads.
“The men and women who work for the Highway Department, they go above and beyond,” said Sorrentino. “Let’s not forget, everyone who works here packs a little suitcase before a storm and camps out for 30, 40 hours straight.”
According to Sorrentino, the town is fully stocked with salt and sand. At the beginning of the season, the town had a stockpile of 18,000 tons of salt and sand combined and bought an additional 7,000 tons at $79 per ton, totaling an overall cost of $554,470.
Unfortunately, two town snowplow trucks caught on fire during the winter season, the cause of the fire was said to be electrical, which jumped from one truck to the other truck parked next to it. The estimated loss of both trucks was an estimated $25,000, less expensive than usual due to their age of 20+ years.
The Highway Department was able to salvage a few parts from the trucks, such as the salt spreader and snowplow.
Deciding to be proactive for the following storms, Sorrentino obtained permission from the state to clean the snow in front of storefronts located on Main Street, New York Avenue, and Broadway in Greenlawn to further improve the quality of road conditions this year.
Due to the positive feedback given from store owners, Sorrentino said he will continue to clean in front of shops when the next winter storm arises.
“Store owners were ecstatic because they left the night before with three inches in front of their shop, and came back with nothing there,” said Sorrentino.
With the St. Patrick’s Day parade quickly approaching, Sorrentino walked along the parade route, located on state roads, to check for any potholes that could cause disruption during the parade, and is securing the route by filling in potholes and broom sweeping the street before the parade as well.
“I put in a call and told the state I was going to patch some potholes, but I really wasn’t asking for permission,” Sorrentino said. “We’re just trying to help, and I want to make sure that they know that we care and we want to make sure people are safe walking down these roads.”
The Highway Department is in full pot-hole repair mode as the spring season approaches. Every day, 12 to 15 asphalt hotboxes are sent to repair potholes and are working on weekends too. So far, they’ve repaired up to 1,500 potholes.
“We are just trying to fix it all one road at a time,” said Sorrentino.