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Road Crews Tore Up Our Block Last Year, Left It That Way, Neighborhood Says

 Roseland residents want the city to finish their streets.
Roseland residents want the city to finish their streets.
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DNAinfo/Andrea V. Watson

ROSELAND — Roadwork is a headache for everyone in the city, but imagine if your entire block was torn up for more than a year. That's what Roseland residents have been dealing with — and they're fed up. 

The blocks of 105th to 108th streets on Vernon, Eberhart and Rhodes avenues were torn up last year for a sewer construction project, according to residents in those blocks. Residents say that the uneven streets are causing car damage, curbside flooding and destroying the blocks’ overall aesthetic appearance.

Bryant Payne, a spokesman for Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), said that the contractor the city hired to repair the sewer and water line quit before finishing the project last year.

 Roseland residents want the city to finish their streets.
Roseland residents want the city to finish their streets.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Andrea V. Watson

“There was a contractor that was on the job who walked off with only 85 percent of the work done,” he said. “The city had to rebid the contract.”

The two-part water and sewer replacement project was to modernize Roseland's outdated infrastructure, said Peter Scales, a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Water Management.

Scales said the water main work replaced a main that was almost 100 years old. That was finished in May of 2014. The problem came when it was time to replace the sewer main. He said it "has been delayed due to an unexpected work stoppage by American Underground of Illinois, the contractor responsible for the work. The Department of Water Management is working to ensure that the sewer work is completed as quickly as possible by a replacement contractor."

American Underground of Illinois did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Payne said the streets will be finished by the first week of September, which Scales could not confirm. Payne said Beale addressed the issue in his last town hall meeting.

“The streets are terrible,” said homeowner Gloria Ruth, 59. “They tore our streets up and they haven’t been back.”

Ruth, along with other residents on Rhodes say they want to know why the city has taken a year off to finish what was started.

Clinton Hall, 74, has lived in his home for more than 40 years with his wife. He is the former block club president, but said since the block club disbanded in 2005 when he stepped down, the block hasn't had a strong relationship with Beale.

Hall said he can’t help but notice the unfinished streets, but he tries to ignore it.

“I know eventually it’ll get fixed,” he said.

But Farrol Jackson, 53, said he can’t ignore the streets' current state. He said he'd rather drive down the alley to park in his garage than on the street.

“This is ridiculous,” he said. “They haven’t done any work for the whole year. That’s unprofessional. I mean anybody who has a home, when you hire someone to work, you want results. If something doesn’t go right, you want to take them to court, fight, get your money back to get a solution, but we haven’t heard anything from the city to get a solution.”

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