Road construction Works
Like all infrastructure, roadways deteriorate over time due to wear and tear from use, from the weathering by heat, freezing and thawing, and precipitation. Resurfacing and reconstruction is determined by a multitude of factors. DOT conducts regular inspections to assess pavement conditions, and assigns ratings based on the overall condition, patching, and cracking.
Resurfacing addresses problems on the surface of the roadway by replacing the top layer of asphalt pavement. It also addresses issues like potholes, cracking, hummocks, bumps and patches of street cuts (typically a result of utility and other underground work). Resurfacing is a less expensive, short-term method of maintaining the quality of existing streets. It usually takes less than a month to complete and is a regularly scheduled operation.
Once a street is resurfaced, it becomes a protected street for five years. DOT will not issue street opening permits for protected streets, except for emergency work. Repairs to potholes or other street defects can, however, be performed on protected streets. The Street Works Manual provides detailed information on policies and procedures governing work on city streets.
Some of the paving materials that get removed from City streets during routine resurfacing operations are recycled and combined with new materials and reused for paving.
Full reconstruction of streets provides long-term upgrades to the roadway and the underlying infrastructure, addressing serious issues related to a street’s condition and design. Reconstruction replaces over a foot of the roadway below the street’s surface and usually includes reconstruction of the curbs and sidewalks as well. As part of reconstruction, the street may be realigned to improve safety or operations, grading may be changed to improve storm water flow, underground utilities may be added, upgraded or relocated, traffic signals and street lights may be relocated, and street trees and pedestrian ramps may be added.
Street reconstruction work is executed by the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) on DOT’s behalf. Extensive coordination is necessary between DOT, other City and State agencies, utilities, and the community. From conception to construction, it can take between three to five years to complete a project. Because of the significant time and funding involved and because the work is so comprehensive, street reconstruction projects are an opportunity to reimagine and enhance the overall streetscape. As with resurfacing projects, after a street is reconstructed it becomes protected for five years.
Capital Street Projects
Capital street reconstruction work is an essential tool for keeping the City’s infrastructure in a state of good repair and improving overall quality of life.
Where can I find general policies, standards, and other information on street design and street materials?
The New York City Street Design Manual contains city policies, detailed guidelines and numerous reference resources related to planning, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the city's streets, sidewalks and public spaces. DDC maintains the City’s Standard Detail Drawings and the Standard Highway Specifications( Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 ) on DOT’s behalf.