2018-01-11 / Front Page

DPW dispatches crew to repair unusually large hole in road

810-452-2645 * tterry@mihomepaper.com

BURTON — Residents had been posting on Facebook that a huge hole was in the road on the south side of Court Street, just west of Genesee Road.

“I got an email this morning about a hole in the road larger than a pothole,” said Bob Slattery, Burton Department of Public Works (DPW) director, on Jan. 12.

“It was a large depression in the road,” Slattery added. “The hunch the person had was it was a Consumers Energy patch that had failed, and that’s what it seemed it be.”

Slattery received a few other emails about the hole.

“I told my guys we would either have to close the lane or fix the hole because it was deeper and larger than a normal hole,” Slattery said. “We were getting reports it could be dangerous. So, I perceived it could be a safety issue, and we dispatched a crew and took them off snow removal. Snow removal and putting salt down were priorities of the day since the roads were very icy.”

Slattery said the road could not be closed because of the hole.

“Since the hole was in the middle of the outside lane, you can’t just put a barrel up,” he said. “Someone could hit the barrel. You would have to close the lane. It’s bigger than putting a barrel up. You would have to give drivers more advance warning than would be given if you just put a barrel up.”

Slattery said Consumers Energy confirmed some work had been done in the area in which the hole was in the fall, and said the patch in that area was scheduled to be permanently fixed in the spring.

“We’re going to fix the hole temporarily,” he said. “We’re going to submit the cost of the repair to Consumers. I told Consumers it couldn’t wait because it was a potential safety issue. Consumers was very cooperative. They told us to go ahead and file a claim. Consumers will send someone out to see if they have to fix it further. Then, in the spring, they will send someone to do the previously scheduled permanent repair."

In this situation, the DPW crew removes the snow to prepare the hole, then fills it with cold patch; asphalt patching material.

Mayor Paula Zelenko said the city does not have the resources to monitor social media, and through this people should realize posting on social media is not the way to report these types of issues.

“I did not hear about this on social media,” Slattery said. “I don’t monitor social media all the time. Posting something on Facebook is not the way to contact the city about potholes, road issues or safety issues. The best way to get some action from the city is to call or email the appropriate department.”

Slattery said if there is a true safety issue, such as a stop sign that has been knocked down, calling is the best way to reach city employees. He said the next way is to email, and the worst way is to post on Facebook.

Zelenko said the city has a pothole reporting hotline.

“Even though this hole was not a pothole, it would be appropriate to contact us using the pothole hotline,” Slattery said.

The pothole hotline is actually an email address: potholes@burtonmi.gov.



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