Incomplete side street repairs, resurfacing linger on in Old Town

City Spotlight photos

Old Town residents in Beaumont are dodging potholes and slowing down for gravelly intersections as street repairs and resurfacing efforts by the city have stalled in some areas of the neighborhood.

Beaumont resident James Eller lives off Evalon Street and says he has called Old Town home his whole life. The Examiner ran into Eller while investigating complaints from the community about the condition of the roads in his neighborhood. Eller runs a scrapping business out of his home near Seventh Street, and says he has been dismayed by the lack of progress he has seen to street repairs on his block. At the end of his driveway, between resurfaced portions of Evalon, lies a particularly nasty pothole, the short strip of road apparently left unimproved by construction crews.

“The construction crews left months ago,” Eller said, then motioned toward the deep, crumbling pothole. “This is where they stopped. They ended the resurfacing here and tried to (marry it) to the old asphalt, but didn’t fix the hole.”

Tire tracks from vehicles driving over the asphalt before the construction material dried left an imprint leading into the hole, and hardened asphalt peaks at about 4 inches above the street at the edge of the crater.

Other issues residents are having in the area include the rough intersections where resurfacing leads up to four-way stops but does not stretch through the intersections. For example, at Evalon and Eighth, Gladys and Eighth, and Louisiana and Eighth, the middles of the intersections look unpaved and similar to dirt roads.

Sand bags left behind by construction crews nearby at Seventh Street and Interstate 10 have been on the ground so long grass is growing through them.

A piece of plywood placed in the sidewalk over a manhole cover near Seventh and Harrison is so old and weathered it is literally in pieces, causing the half-moon cutout in the sidewalk to be exposed.

Residents of the neighborhood say they have been waiting and hoping for construction crews to come back. Beaumont’s Streets and Drainage Department says they won’t have to wait much longer.

“In resurfacing those streets, the city will lay two layers of asphalt,” said City Engineer Zheng Tan. “Just the first layer has been laid out there at this time, since August. Construction crews will return to lay the second layer. They gave it the first lift and will come back to do the final lift. The gaps are left on purpose to be used as a transition from the old asphalt to the new. There were some bad streets in Old Town.”

Zheng says Beaumont only contracts with two construction companies for city street repairs, APAC and LD Construction. LD is the company working on the Old Town resurfacing project. The company holds several other contracts for street repairs with the city, as well. They recently finished a project on Lucas Street and are currently working on Delaware Street improvements, according to Zheng. He said the company “jumps around the city” simultaneously working on multiple projects. He said workers would be back in Old Town on Wednesday, Oct. 28, to check out the reported problem areas.

The Examiner visited the area Oct. 28 and construction crews were hard at work resurfacing on Ninth Street, but the pothole and other issues remain untouched.

 

Have you spotted a problem in your neighborhood or community? City leaders depend on residents to tell them about potential hazards. Send a photo, along with a description of the problem, its duration and location, and your contact info to The Examiner, 795 Willow, Beaumont, TX, 77701, or e-mail mail [at] theexaminer [dot] com.

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