Street and Roadway Construction
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 are determined by a multitude of factors. DOT conducts regular inspections to assess pavement conditions, and makes ratings based on the overall condition, patching, and cracking. Check your street’s rating
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 and bumps and a patches of street cuts (created by 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. This is a regularly scheduled operation. View the current resurfacing schedule.
Once a street is resurfaced, it becomes a protected street for five years. DOT doesn't issue street opening permits for protected streets, except for emergency work. Repairs to potholes or other street defaults are 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. Lean more about DOT’s sustainable street resurfacing
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 a foot or more of 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 relocated or replaced, 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 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 projects are major reconstruction projects, such as the full reconstruction of the sewer pipes, the roadbed, and sidewalks. Capital Projects are essential to keep the City’s infrastructure in a state of good repair. Learn more about Capital Street Projects
Frequently Asked Questions about Street Construction
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 Highway Specifications on DOT’s behalf.
Whenever possible, DOT also follows the guidelines in New York City's High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines, which outline strategies for sustainable infrastructure, and the Active Design Guidelines, which encourage healthier outdoor spaces.
What are the different types of street defects?
There are various types of street defects that are caused by different factors and may require different methods to correct. Before reporting a problem, see what different street defects look like.
How do potholes get fixed?
There are a variety of street defects that people often refer to as potholes. Different kinds of defects require different levels of action. Sometimes the defect is a utility cut that hasn’t been properly repaired—DOT notifies the appropriate utility and instruct them to make the necessary repairs without delay. In other cases, there is a large defect which our emergency pothole crew is not capable of repairing. If it is dangerous, DOT performs an immediate, temporary repair and then dispatch the proper crew and equipment to perform the necessary permanent restoration.Citizens can help DOT make a quick repair by providing specific information when they report a defect, such as the exact address whenever possible. Detailed information allows DOT to repair the most dangerous defects first. Report a pothole.
How do I get a a sunken roadway fixed?
Call 311. A DOT inspector will make an on-site inspection to determine who’s responsible. DOT will contact the appropriate company, government agency or utility responsible for fixing the street. If it is an unsafe condition, a summons will be issued and an emergency repair can be made by DOT.
Who decides to resurface a particular street?
Anyone can request that a particular street be inspected for resurfacing. DOT receives requests from private citizens, Community Boards, elected officials and its own workforce as they move throughout the City each day. Streets are rated based upon the level of surface distress, and are prioritized in consultation with Community Boards and elected officials. They are scheduled based upon clearance of planned utility work, available funding, public events and other scheduled capital improvements. For the most up to date information of resurfacing work, check the Weekly Resurfacing Schedule.
Why does road construction work typically happen at night?
Traffic volumes during the day make it difficult to close some roadways without a major impact on the community. DOT tries to do emergency work during the day and routine maintenance at night. Crews can work faster at night—in most cases, night work is completed two to three times faster than the same work done during the day. This results in significant cost savings and increased productivity.
Road work is occurring on my street. Why aren’t we allowed to park our cars? Why can’t emergency vehicles and local residents gain access?
Based on the nature of the construction work, there are times when parking restrictions are needed to allow the heavy construction activity to be performed.Construction work usually requires a local and emergency lane at all times. In unique situations, the street may be too narrow for access while work is occurring. For concerns about a specific location, call 311.
It seems that residents are more inconvenienced than businesses. Why is that?
Many streets in Manhattan are occupied by both residences and businesses, which makes it extremely difficult to plan street work. When at all possible, daytime work is conducted on residential streets where minimal traffic impact would occur. The decision is based largely on the overall condition of the street and what impact it would have on the entire community. If street work limits public access to a busy street, the impact on businesses could be devastating. DOT works to reduce the impact on both residents and businesses. With the advancement of technology in the asphalt industry, DOT has state-of-the-art equipment that is quieter and faster.
How do I report that a construction site on a street, sidewalk or roadway is unsightly or hazardous?
How can I find out when construction work will be completed?
In order to better inform the public about the duration of projects, DOT requires that contractors place signs at work location with a project number, estimated duration, and a telephone number to call with any questions. In most cases schedules are determined by the size of projects, including the amount of materials that must be removed or put in place. If signs are not posted, contact DOT.
Why are there temporary detour and/or parking restriction signs on my street when construction ended a long time ago?
Contractors are required to remove all temporary detour and parking restriction signs upon completion of the construction project. However, there are times when this does not happen. For concerns about a specific location, call the New York City Call Center, 311.
There’s a dumpster blocking a bus stop or hydrant. How do I get it removed?
Call 311. A DOT inspector will respond. DOT will contact either the contractor, if it is in front of a construction site, or the dumpster company if not a work site. If the dumpster is not removed in a timely manner, DOT will have the Sanitation Department remove it.
Why must trucks make a beeping noise when they are backing up?
This is a safety precaution mandated by law to address the problem of blind spots when a driver utilizes the vehicle side view mirrors. The beeping noise alerts anyone who may be behind the vehicle that it is moving. As a second precaution, DOT requires that no truck is to back up at a work location without an individual spotting or directing the vehicle. This precaution is for the safety of the public as well as the workers.
There are loose and noisy metal roadway repair plates on my block. How do I get them fastened to stop the noise or rocking?
Call 311. A DOT inspector will come to the site to inspect. If the plates are not ramped or pinned, causing the plates to make a noise when hit by a vehicle, the inspector will call the contractor to fix the plates. DOT can issue a summons if the condition is not corrected. Note: If numbers or letters are visible on the plates, give this information to the operator when you call us. This will speed the corrective action.