Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Deja vu: Metro Public Works drags feet again on Salemtown streetscape at nearly the same time they did in 2008

Remember I reported a while back that one of the most frustrating delays in 2008 to the federally-funded community-development streetscape project in Salemtown was due to Metro Public Works literally misplacing MDHA's application for improvements from October to December? Well, it looks like Metro Public Works is reprising their inept role in November 2009.

The project finally got back on track with construction starting in August 2009 and scheduled for completion at the end of October. Signs and lamposts went in and sidewalks were demolished to bury electric lines. However, construction ground to a halt in mid-October with confusion over whether the demolished sidewalks were going to be restored. The Sessions Paving company has not been seen in Salemtown in weeks. Half of our lamposts are unlit at night and there are still long, shallow, dirt and rock filled trenches gouged out where sidewalks used to be. Confusion has reigned at MDHA, which has been unclear about whether the sidewalks would be repoured. They finally agreed that the sidewalks would be repoured last week and asked Metro Public Works for approval.

And that is where we stand. In limbo, waiting once again for Metro Public Works to approve and follow through to completion on this project, including the replacement of our sidewalks. Lots of beautiful, construction-friendly days have been wasted since October, when this project could have been finished. But we're waiting on Metro bureaucrats to put our sidewalks back the way they were.

And despite the fact that we have been communicating our concerns to both our council member, Erica Gilmore, and Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods boss, Brady Banks, they have not expressed any support that I am aware of. In fact, they seem to be unresponsive all together to our concerns.

All of these government services deserve nomination for worst service delivery of 2009, because I don't even want to think about how much money these delays and the general lack of responsiveness (the project was originally intended to be finished in 2008) are costing Metro taxpayers. It's enough that I have to live with the costs to our quality of life in Salemtown.

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