A “giant pothole” that’s been plaguing motorists on Charles Street between Alameda and Roanoke avenues since last fall should be repaired within the next week, according to Teresa Hazlett, deputy service director.
Charles Street resident Kristy Hitesman said she is just one of several neighborhood residents whose concern about the traffic hazard has grown as the size of the pothole itself has grown.
Hitesman said the street was dug up by a contracting company building a house on the block in order to access underground utilities. After tie-ins were made, the company filled the hole with dirt and gravel – but never returned to pave over the trench.
“While not a main thoroughfare, Charles Street is heavily traveled because and its baseball fields are located here,” Hitesman told Patch. “With daily heavy traffic, this dirt section has become one giant pothole that literally cannot be avoided as it spans the entire width of the street.”
Besides being a safety hazard for motorists unaware of the depth of the trench, there’s a noise factor that’s been grating on neighborhood residents.
“When school buses and other large vehicles drive over the pothole at 25-plus miles per hour, it's actually quite loud – louder than you might imagine,” Hitesman said.
Hitesman learned through phone calls to city offices that the Falls Engineering Department was handling the problem. She also heard it was the private contractor’s responsibility to fix the trench. A neighbor, though, told Hitesman the contractor had said the repair was the city’s responsibility.
“After seven months of driving over an increasingly large pothole, I don't care whose responsibility it is to fix. I just want it fixed,” she said.
Hazlett said the repair is, indeed, the responsibility of the private contractor.
“It wasn’t a city project. The city is not responsible for repairing the road if an outside contractor tore it up for their purposes,” Hazlett said. “The engineering department has notified the builder of the house that they need to get that fixed.”
Hazlett said the contractor told city officials the repair “would be made at the end of the school year so they wouldn’t disrupt the buses by blocking the road. School ended yesterday (so) if that doesn’t happen, then we can go back on them for not following through with their end of the deal.”