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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Filling in the Holes Left by Winter 2003

    As the rain and warmer weather washes away the snow at Stony Brook, oneof the largest snowstorms to hit Stony Brook is nearly

    Filling the Holes in Stony Brook Roadways

    By Marc Newman

    Statesman Editor

    As the rain and warmer weather washes away the snow at StonyBrook, one of the largest snowstorms to hit Stony Brook is nearly forgotten.Perhaps the only memory are the major potholes that plague the campus. [Quoteabout pothole problem] The Statesman satdown with the crew responsible for taking care of the disastrous conditions nowpast, and what’s being done to address the new campus road problems.

    When the Storm hit Stony Brook Sunday night February 16, crewsworked 24 hour shifts for one week. ‘?A large number of us worked on it,and the removal process wasn’t pretty,’ said Mike Bentivenga,Grounds Manager at Stony Brook. Bentivenga is referring to the massive trucksthat hauled thousands of pounds of snow from the center of campus to P-Lot. Asthe snow has been washed away by higher temperatures and rain, however, moreproblems have begun to surface.

    ‘?The potholes are a big issue,’ said Chris K.McAlary, Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Services. ‘?Once thesalt melted through the ice that covered the campus for the past week, and theweather moved from temperatures well below freezing to well above, many newpotholes developed.’

    Working with an outside contactor, Unlimited Paving, McAlarysays that his department is ‘?working aggressively’ and is hopefulthat these patches plaguing the campus can be patched ‘?in the nearfuture.’ Unlimited Paving made its third visit to campus on Tuesday, butoften colder weather and rain make filling potholes an impossible task. Thecompany and McAlary have to work around those conditions, as well as alreadynaturally deteriorating roads on campus.

    ‘?When was this campus founded?’ asked McAlary.New to the department from the Los Angles area, where roads are lesssusceptible to fast deterioration and inconsistent weather, McAlary said that’?With the kind of traffic you see on campus, these roads should lastbetween twenty and thirty years. With a campus older than that, and the badweather we’ve seen this year, many of these roads are due forrepaving.’

    The road leading to South P-Lot is one of the first on thelong list of roads that need repaving. A project such as this has to takeplace over the summer, however, when less students are on campus, and is a longterm goal the department does not foresee taking place in the near future.’?We’re in a budget crunch right now, and we have to recognizethat,’ said McAlary.

    Recapping the snowstorm that hit this campus two weeks ago,McAlary noted that the department is working on new strategies to better handlefuture emergencies and get the roads in tip-top shape more quickly. The snowremoval process in the past was coordinated by three different departments:Resident Halls handled by private contractors, campus proper by the PhysicalPlant, and the University Hospital handling itself. Many complaints werefilled at the resident halls, noting poor shoveling and horrible roadconditions. McAlary hopes to in the future coordinate all three groups so suchproblems would be less likely to happen. ‘?This way for instance a groupworking on the roadways in the middle of campus can then work on roadways atthe residence halls without having to incorporate a second group ofpeople.’ Many students were even impressed by the manner of which thesnow storm was handled this time around. Rich Walcott, a graduate studentsaid, ‘?I went to SUNY Buffalo for six years and it would take the crewsthere days to get rid of the snow. The people here were unbelievably quick!’

    To get all that snow removed, new potholes filled and olderroads replaced will come at a hefty price tag, however. ‘?We’restill putting together the bills from all this plowing,’ said Bentivenga.McAlary admitted that the first priority was to make the roadways onto campusdrivable, and that no particular budget was allocated for this crises.’?They just told us to get rid of this snow, and we did so without aparticular budget constraint in mind. This allowed us to get rid of the snowas soon as possible.’

    How quickly the deteriorating roadways will be fixed oncampus remains to be seen. Parking Operations, Health and Safety, PhysicalPlant and Building Services coordinate with each other to address theseproblems, which have been most numerous in the past few weeks. Students hopethat these problems will become less numerous in the weeks to come.

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