Saturday, September 14, 2013

Road Work

Last April, around Tax Day, we got a letter from our township supervisors informing us that an upgrade needed to be made to the sewers on our street.  Work was expected to begin on April 29th and end on or about June 7th.  Obviously we would need to be aware of some inconveniences about accessing our properties sometimes during this process.

OK.  A hassle, but part of the headache of home ownership.

Except that the work is still going on, here in mid-September.

There has been no information, zero, zilch, nothing from any of the powers-that-be.  Everything we've learned about the project has been picked up via hearsay from the workers themselves, who are usually even more in the dark than we residents are.  What I have gleaned from them so far:  the work encountered more and harder bedrock than anticipated; the equipment they had brought in to do the job proved to be inadequate and getting the right equipment in was harder and took longer than they thought it would be; the final paving will now not happen until the Spring of 2014, etc., etc., etc.

The way the local authorities have handled this situation has been nothing short of appalling.  We have not been informed of any of the difficulties, in spite of numerous phone calls, letters, e-mails and neighborhood petitions.  (Guess who's going to be looking for a new job after the next election?)  There has been no rhyme or reason to the pattern of work, and several times we have awakened to find ourselves trapped in our home while excavations took out the driveway.  I mean, would it have been so BLOODY DIFFICULT to stick a measly postcard in the mailbox saying, "Hey, we're going to be working in front of your driveway tomorrow so if you need to get out, move your car to a side street tonight, okay?"  Granted, with minimal eye-rolling, the guys would do their best to let you get out if it was at all possible, but a little information would have gone a long, long way to making everybody's life easier -- both the workers and the affected residents.

It looks like the work is winding up, at least for the season.  The road is now a Frankenstein's Monster network of patches and seams.  One of the workers told me that the final paving of a top coat will now not happen until next Spring, so as to allow the work to "settle."  He also told me that this is almost certainly a complete load of horseshit.  Nothing they've done needs to "settle," according to the foreman, and it's just going to be a huge, expensive hassle to close the street again in the Spring so that it can be paved.  Which should last only a couple of days.


When I was a kid in New Jersey, we had a joke:  "You know why it says New Jersey is 'The Garden State' on our license plates?  Because 'The Toxic Waste Dump State' won't fit!"  I feel like for Pennsylvania the punchline should be "The 'You-Can't-Get-There-From-Here' State."

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