Today, I had another of my numerous observations of one of the prime reasons the streets and sidewalks disrepair ranks as one of the worst in the nation. Starting this morning 8-9 A.M. a crew of 5-6 men and 5-6 vehicles, numerous barrels and flags, down 2 of the four lanes closed on Pioneer Parkway across from Barracks. Later a supervisor or inspector arrived in another vehicle. One of the trucks parked behind another truck never moved till quitting time when the whole crew and all the pieces departed.
I estimate the cost to the taxpayers was about $4000. For scraping off the top layer of about 150 feet. Sometime they will be back to lay the new top layer adding another $4000 to the overall cost including wages and pensions. When you multiple this by the hundreds of thousands of streets that need repairs and considering the amount budgeted is $1 or 2 million this year, you can look forward to another year of mainly bad streets and sidewalks in Peoria.
Remember, the City Streets Manager said he needs $7 1/2 million a year for the next 5 years to bring his department up to 75% of normalcy.
Two of the four lanes on Pioneer Parkway are closed and it will be interesting to see how long it takes to put a top layer that will go bad again as they only scraped off the top of these two lanes and how long these lanes will be closed.
I suggest using alternate routes until all four lanes open again which could be days. Add the delay of business people trying to get to and from the jobs and the cost goes up another 20%.
This is not a new problem. 15 or more years ago I wrote a letter to the City Council when there were 13 "workers" and 13 vehicles repairing a strip about 1 foot wide and 100 yards long in front of my house. How many days. More than one day because they came back a week later, cleaned out the excavation (again) and filled it. It going bad again and getting worse each year. One of the workers spent a lot of time reclining in the grass while others sat in their vehicles listing to music. Did I get a response from anyone including Pat Nichting who was my city rep.? You guessed it. No.
Back to my question. Does anyone really care other than to complain? Once when I stopped to watch, they foreman called the police. When the policeman pulled up and asked what I was doing, I told him I was watching Peoria's finest at work. He laughed and pulled away. Believe I blogged on this before.
When visiting with a departed roads and sidewalks manager, he said one of the main reasons he resigned was because the union ran his department.