Emergency pothole repair to smooth city streets

By Jillian Marshall

January 13, 2014 Updated Jan 13, 2014 at 11:56 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It's a right of passage for area streets this time of year: Potholes are seemingly everywhere. But Binghamton Mayor Rich David is using the break in the weather to attack some of the worst streets in the city.

David released the emergency pothole repair initiative to patch city streets on Monday.

The first wave of repairs will take place on Riverside Drive, Conklin Avenue and Prospect Street.

David estimates more than 100 "crater"-sized potholes litter the three streets.

He said repairing potholes is just basic maintenance of the city, and the first step to improving the city's infrastructure, which was a promise he made along the campaign trail.

"It doesn't get much more basic when it comes to basic city services than pot hole repair," David said. "And certainly over the course of the last week or so, it's been snowing, we've been dealing with snow storms, and ice. So today was really the first chance that the weather broke for us to start filling potholes."

The New York State Department of Transportation is helping with the initiative. They are taking over the paving on Prospect Street from Front Street to the new I-86 interchange.

The DOT said they are working to get "hot mix" asphalt, which will serve as a more permanent repair than the cold material usually used when asphalt plants are closed for the winter.

The DOT said potholes are caused by freezing temperatures, followed by warmer temperatures and then moisture gets in the cracks of the pavement. They are also affected by construction and repeated plowing.

The DOT is footing the bill for their work on Prospect Street, which David said will cut a break for city tax payers.

David found funds for Conklin Avenue and Riverside Drive in the Public Works budget.

The repair will start this week. David said as long as extreme weather stays at bay, more waves of pothole repair will hit the city.

"Our infrastructure is obviously in very poor shape, and frankly it's unacceptable to have as many potholes as we have in the city of Binghamton. It's not going to happen overnight, but we have to start somewhere," David said.

Streets will be patched now and then repaved in the spring.