HARVEY, Ill. (CBS) — Usually when a road gets filled with potholes, the city comes out and eventually fixes it.
But that is not the case in south suburban Harvey, where some potholes have been left sitting there – to the point where huge concrete barriers have had to be set up over them on the street.
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, it is more than an eyesore. While the City of Harvey finds itself in a bind with roads falling apart and funds limited, what is happening on one street has neighbors saying it isn’t safe.
It is obvious right away at 157th Street near Willard Avenue – the street is riddled with potholes.
“Traffic is terrible,” said Teresa Marroquin.
Marroquin lives on the corner, and her worries stretch beyond just the craters on the road.
“It’s very dangerous for the kids to be out, you know, playing out here or riding their bicycles,” she said.
Here is why – instead of fixing the street, the City of Harvey opted to install concrete blocks to prevent traffic from coming through.
Marroquin said despite that, drivers are persistent in not finding another route.
“Coming through here and just going on top of the sidewalk,” she said.
You can see the tire marks where cars are going onto the curb and sidewalks – and that’s just one safety concern. The other is that vehicles coming down the pothole-riddled road at night can’t see these concrete barriers until it’s nearly too late.
“I’m afraid that there’s going to be an accident one day here,” Marroquin said.
Meanwhile, there are no signs letting drivers know the road is even closed.
So we took the safety hazard right to Harvey Mayor Christopher Clark.
“What I authorized was to close off the street,” Clark said.
The closure was a result of poor infrastructure underneath, and fear that the road might be caving in.
The mayor was under the belief that the barriers were working.
“From what I understand, yes, it is preventing vehicles from driving down,” Clark said.
But CBS 2 still spotted cars creeping through. We showed the mayor, and pointed out that there is only a stop sign posted at the road that is supposed to be closed – mounted on a sawhorse.
“It should probably say ‘do not enter,’” Clark conceded when asked by Jermont.
But what about repairing the potholes
“If there’s no funding from City of Harvey, they should go to the state,” Marroquin said.
“That’s one of the things that we’re putting together a plan to do so at this particular point in time,” Mayor Clark said.
As they ask for more money, the mayor said he will do a nighttime assessment of the area to determine how to prevent cars from slamming into the concrete barriers.