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City workers leave pothole and construction barrel blocking Lansing woman’s home for three months

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 8:11 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Something called “a cold patch” is just a temporary pothole fix -- but at least it’s a fix. It’s a lot better than what Lansing workers did with a pothole in the city’s Maple Hill neighborhood.

“Once a week since February, I’ve called the City of Lansing,” resident Samantha Farmer says. “I’m frustrated. In order to turn left out of our driveway, we have to get out of our car, move the barrel to get out, and then put the barrel back.”

Farmer has a large pothole outside her driveway, that she says formed after a water main break.

She says the city has come to check it out three times, and during one of those visits, workers filled the hole with rocks and placed an orange barrel on it. It’s just to the left of her driveway, and now she’s had to maneuver her way around the barrel for three months.

“The front of my fiancé's car has gone into that multiple times, he now has scratches all over the front of his car, cause there’s no way to avoid it,” she says.

City services director Andrew Fitzpatrick says a lack of funding is to blame for some roads being unfixed.

“The vast majority of our local streets are actually in poor shape, which means they need some sort of structural fix, not just the top surface, but really the entire asphalt surface is gone on them,” Fitzpatrick says. “That’s just through years of underfunding.”

Fitzpatrick says the City of Lansing rates the roads from one to 10, with 10 being the best. The city fixes roads they think are actually fixable and don’t need total repair first. The average rating for a Lansing road is a three out of 10, according to the city.

Farmer’s street scored a ‘one’ on the city’s ranking. She tried again this week to get the issue fixed through the Lansing Connect app. She hopes her latest efforts will get the road fixed and the barrel removed.

Fitzpatrick admits there shouldn’t be a barrel outside of Farmer’s home for this long, but says a sewer issue is to blame for the delay.

“The reason the road keeps settling is that there is a sewer issue that needs to be addressed,” he says. “It appears that some of the joints in the sewer have separated slightly, allowing sand to get into the sewer, and causing the road above to settle. We will be back out there in the next day or two to address the depression and will then get a contractor to line, or repair the section of sewer. Until the sewer issue is addressed, the road may continue to settle,” Fitzpatrick says. “This is not a standard pothole issue.”

Fitzpatrick says the public service department would need about $15 million per year for the next 10 years to fix issues like this with Lansing roads. Depending on the year, he says the city spends somewhere between $4 million and $8 million each year.

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