Award-winning $25 million project increases DOT’s asphalt production and recycling capacity, reducing costs and emissions
After patching a record 338,000 potholes so far in 2014, executive budget makes further investments in roads, infrastructure and safety
NEW YORK—Coming on the heels of an unprecedented road maintenance campaign that patched a record 338,000 potholes and repaved 173 miles of streets, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, and Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora today announced the reopening of the completely rebuilt Hamilton Avenue asphalt plant. The state-of-the-art DOT facility is a key link in the agency’s comprehensive maintenance plan to address potholes and resurface 1,000 lane miles of roadway this year.
Mayor de Blasio’s executive budget makes critical investments in road maintenance, including more than $226 million in capital to repave 1,000 lane miles of streets and repair more than 400,000 potholes, as well as $670 million for complete street reconstruction in communities ranging from Downtown Brooklyn to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. The budget also invests $52 million in safety upgrades as part of the mayor’s Vision Zero initiative, including new street markings, speed humps and neighborhood slow-speed zones. The executive budget makes smart investments to protect our infrastructure, moving forward key priorities and needs while keeping out-year deficits well below historical levels and debt service low.
“This is some of the most fundamental work we do as a city, and it’s something our Department of Transportation is investing in as never before. The men and women of the DOT are breaking records every day patching potholes and repaving streets, and we are investing today to keep this city moving and keep New Yorkers safe,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“On his 100th day in office, Mayor de Blasio praised our roadway crews for the extraordinary job they did this past winter filling potholes, and declared that great work like this demonstrates effective government in action,” said DOT Commissioner Trottenberg. “It’s a great honor that he could thank our world-class roadways team in person today. This important, environmentally friendly, and money-saving project at Hamilton will bring us another step closer to his vision for the city’s future.”
“Asphalt from the new Hamilton Avenue plant will provide a smoother ride for millions of New Yorkers traveling by bus or car, particularly during the winter months, and with less impact on our environment. Indeed, the plant will produce asphalt with a greater proportion of recycled materials, which will reduce emissions and cut costs. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio for providing significant increases in funding for infrastructure repair in the city’s executive budget, as well as our partners at DOT, with whom we will continue to work to implement the Mayor’s vision for safer streets. I’d also like to commend our design and construction teams, who collaborated closely to bring this project to fruition,” said DDC Commissioner Peña-Mora.
“The brutal winter we just got through left a devastating toll on our streets, but this welcome news will help pave the road to recovery,” said City Council Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. “I know the DOT is working tirelessly to keep our streets in sound condition, and the reopening of the Hamilton Avenue asphalt plant will certainly aid in this effort.”
“I am proud to join Mayor de Blasio and Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg in celebrating the reopening of the Fort Hamilton asphalt plant in the 38th Council District. Like this plant, many of the vital resources that serve the entire city’s infrastructure and keep New Yorkers moving are located in my district. I thank the de Blasio administration for its leadership and look forward to continuing to work with his team on creating safer streets and infrastructure planning,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca.
“Restoring and rebuilding New York’s infrastructure is critical, especially after a very rough winter. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for making this a priority. A new city-owned asphalt plan is opening at just the right time,” said Assemblyman Felix Ortiz.
“The Mayor’s plan acknowledges the severe winter endured by New Yorkers and the importance of repairing and maintaining the city’s streets and bridges,” said John A. Corlett, Director of Government Affairs and Traffic Safety for AAA New York. Corlett noted that preventative investments in infrastructure, such as pavement resurfacing and bridge maintenance, can diminish the need for more costly repairs in the future.
The opening of the Hamilton Avenue plant follows a year-long, $25 million renovation that will significantly increase the agency’s asphalt production and recycling capabilities, saving taxpayer funds and cutting emissions, while also bolstering the city-wide response to this record-setting winter and the agency’s extensive resurfacing plan to stop potholes before they form. The project was a collaboration among the DOT, DDC, construction manager HAKS, and RBA, Stansteel and Tully Construction. The reconstruction came in under budget and made use an innovative design-build contract bid process, shielding the city from any potential engineering or construction risks, and the American Council of Engineering Companies recently granted it a Diamond Award for Engineering Excellence.
The project’s benefits include:
- Increased production: The agency’s asphalt production capacity will be increased by 30 percent to as many as 450 tons per hour, with plans to produce one million tons this year for use in resurfacing 1,000 lane miles.
- Cost savings: Asphalt is the most-recycled material on the planet and the top-to-bottom redesign increases the agency’s recycling capability by 10 percent, or 50,000 tons, cutting costs by $5 million each year, and paying for itself in five years.
- Emissions reductions: By further reducing the transport of asphalt and raw materials, the agency is reducing local truck travel by 530,000 miles each year, and eliminating the need for 600,000 barrels of crude oil. And by increasing DOT’s recycling capabilities, the plant will further reduce the purchase for raw materials equivalent to another 1.6 million barrels of oil.
- Technological enhancements: The facility allows DOT to ramp up the production of its industry-leading road surface material mixture, allowing for an extended paving season and work in temperatures as low as 15 degrees. Related technological improvements in the plant’s warm-weather asphalt mix will allow for a 50-degree lowering of the material’s minimum workable temperature, further reducing emissions.
The Hamilton facility, originally built in 1979, is located on a site adjacent to the Gowanus Canal that has been used for city roadway maintenance needs as early as 1911. It is one of two city-owned plants, along with the Harper Street yard in Corona, Queens, and with the rebuild is once again the largest asphalt production facility in the New York City area, run by 12 employees per shift.
Today’s announcement follows the DOT’s previously announced comprehensive plan to combat the effects of the sixth-snowiest winter on record. Those efforts include weekly pothole blitzes, targeted repaving efforts on areas in need of repair and improvements to materials, operational efficiency, and greater inter-agency coordination.