Wheels are in motion to tackle pothole issues along aging roadways in Babylon Town.
Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer held a press conference Wednesday, during which he announced a new program called “Prevent Pothole Plague,” which is a $100 million initiative that would improve the area’s roadways over eight years.
“A few months back, our roads expert, Vince Galdiero, who has nearly 50 years of experience in the field, came to me with some alarming data,” said Schaffer. “Babylon’s roads are in trouble.”
During the presentation in Copiague, statistics were shown to the public from VHB, the town’s road contractors, which rates roadways from a scale of 1 to 100.
While Babylon Town’s roads averaged a score of 77, the second-best score on Long Island, the infrastructure is degrading rapidly, officials said.
“Due to many of the town’s roads being constructed during the 1950s and 60s, scores are dropping quickly,” said the town’s public works commissioner, Tom Stays. “Projections show the townwide average dropping as low as 65 if budgeting remains the same.”
Later that evening, the Babylon Town Board approved the first year’s worth of boosted spending — or $10.4 million — to improve the roads.
Babylon Town, which historically had a road budget of $6 million per year, will be spending between $10 million and $13 million each year — if passed — until 2027.
According to the administration, the increase in spending will not contribute to the town’s debt levels or affect town taxes.
“Due to a combination of top bond rating, ability to cut taxes this year, and conservative budgeting, the town is in a unique position to invest heavily in its infrastructure without borrowing money or burdening taxpayers,” reads a town press announcement on the initiative.
Top: Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer discussing his plans for his Prevent Pothole Plague program. (Courtesy photo)