By G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – The bad news is the city’s streets have taken a beating this winter and it shows. The good news is the asphalt plants that produce the hot patching material are open.
Mario Mazza, the deputy director of the Department of Public Works (DPW), explained to Reminder Publications
that his department has had to use a cold patch product that is not as durable.
An informal survey of Reminder Publications’ readers on Facebook indicated pot hole problems on Abbott Street and Harkness Avenue; a large pothole a large pothole at east Columbus Avenue and Boland Way; on Parker Street near the intersection of Allen and Cooley streets; Tinkham Road near the House of the Good Shepard and on White Street.
Mazza said the cycle of freezing and thawing has created the holes and rough surfaces but he believed this winter’s crop was “average.”
Part of the problem is the lack of funding to keep municipal roadways in prime shape all year round, he added.
“Not investing in infrastructure has a price.” Mazza said.
The cold patch material is “really a band aid,’ he explained.
Mazza said in April the DPW employees will come off of the winter shift – which divides the work crews into three shifts – and will be back on one shift. With this work force the DPW can “blitz the city, “ Mazza said of potholes.
He added, though in the meantime they will be repairing them “as we go along.”
Mazza said the city has spent more than $2 million in snow removal and had budgeted $1.6 million for that task. The budgeted amount was depleted in January.
Although spring officially comes on March 20, Mazza noted in New England additional snow – and snow removal costs – could come well after that date.