2010-05-28 / Top Stories

New City Plant To Fight Potholes

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan have announced the start of operations at a new asphalt plant that will make road and pothole repairs more efficient, less expensive and more environmentally friendly. The new plant, located in Queens, is the City’s second municipal asphalt plant and will greatly expand the amount of City-produced asphalt used in street resurfacing and pothole repair. The new plant will increase the City’s use of sustainable Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP), a goal of the City’s long-term sustainability blueprint, PlaNYC.

Once fully operational, the new plant is expected to save the City approximately $5 million in annual asphalt purchase costs. The Mayor and Sadik- Khan made the announcement at the new facility located on Harper Street in Corona, Queens.

“The new facility will allow us to resurface and repair more streets faster, in a more environmentally sound fashion and at a lower cost – at a time when we are looking at all possible options to reduce expenses,” said Bloomberg.

“By producing more recycled asphalt, we’ll avoid two million miles of annual truck trips that are used to carry milled asphalt to landfills – reducing congestion, pollution and wear and tear on our streets.”

“From the quality of our streets’ engineering to the sustainability of the materials used to build them, we need to keep pace with the design and repair demands of our roads without sacrificing time or money,” said Sadik- Khan. “Continued investments that combine the safety and good repair of our streets with the need to reduce our City’s carbon footprint are helping New York City remain an international leader in sustainable practices.”

The new asphalt plant will increase the amount of City-produced asphalt from 50 percent of the asphalt used by the City to approximately 75 percent and will improve efficiency in the City’s efforts to restore streets and roadways citywide.

Purchased for $30 million in March, the new plant will produce 250,000 tons of asphalt a year, and will increase the City’s RAP production by 25 percent. New York City already has the largest municipal production of RAP in the nation.

The increased use of RAP will reduce annual truck trips by two million miles, which would normally be used to carry milled asphalt to landfills, reducing wear and tear, congestion and pollution on City streets. The increased use of RAP will also save more than a million barrels of oil annually.

Paving and street repair equipment will be garaged at the new facility – which will permit quicker and more efficient dispatching to street repair jobs in the Bronx, Queens and in Northern Manhattan. With two plants operating, one can be taken off-line for maintenance without disrupting repaving operations.

The City’s original asphalt plant, located on Hamilton Avenue in Brooklyn, produces approximately 500,000 tons of asphalt a year and was purchased in 1981. The Hamilton Avenue plant also has brought significant savings – approximately $10 million annually, with cost savings realized largely through the use of RAP.

By incorporating the recycled content, the City saves on new material and the costs associated with transport and landfill fees. By relying on RAP, yesterday’s pavement becomes today’s streets as old paving materials get removed from City streets during routine resurfacing operations. The milled material is then reprocessed and reconstituted with new materials before use in subsequent paving.

The new facility will allow the Hamilton Avenue Plant to undergo important upgrades. By modernizing the plant, RAP production will be increased at the facility.

The new Harper Street Facility is currently producing asphalt and will reach full operational capacity over the course of a year.

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