Thousands of city streets are being torn up by utility firms making repairs without permission, city records show.
The number of fines levied against Con Ed, KeySpan Energy and smaller construction companies for illegally chopping up streets has risen 130% over the past five years, from 937 in 2008 to 2,153 in 2013, according to records obtained via a Freedom of Information Law request filed in November.
“It certainly contributes to lousy pavements in the city. And the conditions of the streets are directly related to safety,” said AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair.
City Department of Transportation honchos say the increase in violations is due in part to more work being done on the streets and inspectors fanning out across the five boroughs, hunting for unsanctioned, pavement-busting projects.
In 2010, the city beefed up fines, to $1,500 from $800, for jackhammering on streets without a permit.
But the number of violations has steadily gone up despite the souped-up penalties, the data reveal.
Since 2008, the city has hauled in $13.5 million from bad-behaving utilities, records show.
Con Ed, the city’s largest utility, has been hit with the most fines over the past two years, the records show.