After years of requesting infrastructure improvements in Elmont and Franklin Square, resident were put at ease when Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen announced on May 29 that local roads would be included in a town-wide road reconstruction program throughout 2019 and 2020. Gillen said that among the roads aiming to be repaired this year were Lydia, Ludlam and Crest Avenue in Elmont, Scherer Boulevard in Franklin Square and North Fletcher Avenue in Valley Stream.
“In 2018, we put about $17 million for repaving projects, and, this year, we’ve designating about $30 million,” Gillen said. “With this unprecedented investment to road infrastructure repairs, we will be able to finally put the needs of our residents first and work toward enhancing their quality of life as well as their safety…and these repaving projects are more effective in improving our infrastructure than just filling potholes.”
Town officials estimated that more than 30,000 potholes were filed in 2019. About a tenth of those potholes were in Elmont, Franklin Square and North Valley Stream. Gillen said that filling of potholes was like repeatedly adding band-aids to a more serious problem, so repaving roads became the obvious solution to the town’s aging roads. This was the thought that led to the recent roadwork in Franklin Square’s Admont Avenue, whose large potholes tormented local residents for years. The hope is that with the road repaved, no potholes would reemerge next year.
The town’s official start to the road-repaving project will begin at Scherer Boulevard in Franklin Square, which had long been ignored. Scherer Boulevard is one of Franklin Square’s busiest roads as it connects Franklin Avenue with Hempstead Turnpike. After the road had been left out of last year’s re-pavement budget, Town of Hempstead Councilman Bruce Blakeman wrote to local residents that Scherer Boulevard would be repaved this time around.
“I have directed the Engineering Department to evaluate this roadway and am happy to inform you that Scherer Boulevard will be repaved either later this year, or in early 2020,” Blakeman wrote.
Earlier this year, a special truck had begun driving down town roads throughout the Town of Hempstead, scanning the streets with a laser. Joseph Davenport, Gillen’s executive assistant for infrastructure, explained that the data collected by the truck allowed the town to analysis the all the town roads and helped them rate and prioritize which roads would be receiving repairs.
The list of roads and when they might be scheduled for repair will be posted up on the Town of Hempstead’s website later this year. Residents will have the opportunity to advocate for their roads if they feel that they have not received proper maintenance in the past.