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DOT Hopes to Make Road Construction Smoother

Better coordination between utility and private construction company work will help reduce congestion and give resurfacing projects a longer life.

Are street closures and ongoing construction making your commute bumpy?

Today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced a new digital program that hopes to reduce the impact of construction on city roads by better coordinating utility and private construction company work.

The online program – called the Street Works Manual – is an ambitious effort to improve coordination among utility companies, contractors and agencies to minimize the number of times streets are dug up, reducing congestion and extending the life of resurfacing projects.

Also, the Department of Transportation has upgraded its permit and inspection procedures and now can issue 90 percent of all permits electronically, with most permits issued within just one or two days of an application. In its 2011 fiscal year, the department issued nearly 265,000 permits for work in city streets by utilities, construction companies and contractors.

Mayor Bloomberg made the announcement today on Skillman Avenue in Queens, where recent Con Edison work was coordinated with a City road resurfacing project, combining the two projects and eliminating the need for the road to be dug up twice. The Mayor was joined at the announcement by State Senator Michael Gianaris, City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Con Edison Vice President for Government Relations John Banks and National Grid New York President Ken Daly.

“We’re going to improve something that’s aggravated New Yorkers since we’ve had paved roads – streets getting torn up, repaved, and then sometimes getting torn up all over again for another project,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We’ve designed a new online program to improve coordination of street projects, keeping more streets open for traffic and cutting costs. Utility companies and contractors will coordinate their work with the City, to ensure, for example, that non-emergency repair work does not start a month after a road was resurfaced or a month after another utility was working in the same location.”

“Many New Yorkers have experienced the frustration of watching work crews tear up a street that’s just been repaved,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “The streets are the foundation for the city’s infrastructure and this landmark agreement will help reduce the toll of construction on our streets and keep them open for business."

Street excavation permits, resurfacing schedules and utilities’ project schedules can now be found on www.nyc.gov, which also includes online maps showing which streets are scheduled for upcoming work.

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