Roadways are a ‘war zone;’ temp fixes coming through spring

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO |Southold highway department crews patch potholes on Main Street in Greenport Thursday afternoon.

The cold, snowy winter — followed in recent days by some warm weather — is turning Southold Town’s roadways into a “war zone” with potholes popping up left and right, according to Highway Superintendent Vincent Orlando.Water created by the large amount of snowfall has been seeping into cracks, causing widespread damage to the roadways, Mr. Orlando said Friday morning. To combat the problem, highway department crews are patching potholes until the streets can be paved in the spring, he said.

“They are all over the place. It’s a war zone,” Mr. Orlando said, adding that the patch work is “triage to get through the winter.”

“It doesn’t make sense to [asphalt the roadways] just yet. We’re going to wait through the rest of the season to assess the full damage,” he said.

Since the beginning of winter, 57.5 inches of snow has fallen on Long Island, according to National Weather Service recordings at Islip.

While that falls short of the highest snow total since record-keeping began in 1984 — 73.5 inches during a 1995-96— this year’s totals are a just 1.4 inches away from becoming the second-snowiest season, beating out 2003-04, according NWS.

Through the middle of this week, the town had spent roughly $138,000 this year on 3,400 cubic yards of sand and 1,200 tons of salt to clear the roads, Mr. Orlando said. Nearly 60 percent of the budgeted overtime expenses have already been spent, he said.

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