The Real Deal New York

Asphalt jungle: Surge in fines for unauthorized road work

Penalties for pavement ripping up 130 percent in five years

May 13, 2014 10:00AM

Work along East Houston Street in 2013

Work along East Houston Street in 2013

Fines are mounting for utility companies like Con Ed and KeySpan Energy which are allegedly chopping up a number of streets without the necessary permits.

The penalties levied against such companies rose 130 percent over the past five years, from 937 in 2008 to 2,153 in 2013, the New York Daily News reported, citing information gleaned via a Freedom of Information Law request filed in November.

“It certainly contributes to lousy pavements in the city,” Robert Sinclair, an AAA spokesperson, told the Daily News. “And the conditions of the streets are directly related to safety.”

The City Department of Transportation told the paper that the uptick in violations comes as an increasing amount of work is being done on the streets. Inspectors have fanned out across the city in response, on the lookout for unsanctioned pavement-ripping projects.

The city also raised fines in 2010, charging $1,500 — up from $800 — for jackhammering on city streets without a permit.

Con Ed racked up the largest number of fines over the past two years, according to the Daily News’ findings. [NYDN]Julie Strickland

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