Residents concerned with street condition

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published October 5, 2011

 Residents complain that Bayview Street, east off Jefferson Avenue, needs to be repaved.

Residents complain that Bayview Street, east off Jefferson Avenue, needs to be repaved.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske


Jon Watts said he’s been concerned about the situation on Bayview for years.

“The … condition of that street has to be, now, the worst street in St. Clair Shores,” he told City Council Sept. 19.

He said he has tried for years to get on a list of streets to be repaired because of the potholes, ruts and other problems.

“We’re just told that it’s too costly, and we’re not on the list to get any action done,” he said. “We’ve got sections that are bigger (than) the front area of your desk here that are just cracked-up asphalt. My children have fallen off their bikes, and I’ve had to pick asphalt out of their elbows.”

He presented City Council with a petition with signatures from more than half the street’s residents.

“I’m looking for some direction,” he said. “Hoping that City Council can see to somehow get us a new street.”

Watts’ neighbor, Janet Seagram, said she has also asked for help with the street in the past. “I expect to come home some day and see a really big sinkhole,” she said. “The street continues to disintegrate.”

“It’s a great street to live on, except for the condition of the street,” agreed Ron Swick, another Bayview resident. “I invite you, drive down the street. If you want to walk down it, walk down it, ride your bike. It’s in dire need of repair.”

Mayor Robert Hison pointed out that there are about 200 miles of streets for the city to evaluate each year. He said the city would review the matter and get back in touch with residents.

And City Manager Ben Hughes said they were aware of the residents’ concerns before the meeting. But, he said, there is a limited amount of money that can be spent each year from the street millage to repair roads.

He said city officials go through and “do analysis every year of those streets that are in the worst state of disrepair every year.” They try to repair the worst ones first, he said.

“The reality is that, we respect the residents’ position in Bayview that they are the worst (but city officials) … found other streets worse.”

St. Clair Shores used money from the street millage to repair several streets this year: Culver from Paloma to Valera, Avalon at Pallister, Lawndale from Grove to Ursuline, Taylor from Roosevelt to Waldron, Mark’s Court north of Avalon, Valera from Wood to Ursuline, and Grant from Frazho to Ardmore Park. Community Development Block Grant money was used to repair Boston from Gaffke to Martin and Blossom Heath Boulevard east of Jefferson.

Hughes said city officials plan to meet with residents of Bayview, however.

“These are tough decisions that city staff have to make every year,” he said. “We know that we want to re-evaluate this come spring.”

He said city officials look at streets that haven’t been repaired in 20-40 years each year for repaving projects, but could not say when Bayview was last redone.

“We try to do a priority list,” he said. “We’re trying to stretch our resources as much as we can.”