Residents Awaiting Needed Street Repairs

BERLIN – Grice St. dwellers looking forward to repairs to the neglected road asked for some assurances from the Berlin Mayor and Council Monday night that certain changes would be made along with the repairs.

Ron Humphress, a resident of Grice St., spoke to the Berlin Town Council of the need for repairs on the short street between Graham Ave. and Franklin Ave. The street has been on Berlin’s list of streets to repair for years.

“I just wanted to make sure you guys really realized how important it is to the people in the neighborhood that the money gets spent properly,” said Humphress, who has a background in surveying and engineering.

No permanent repairs have been made to Grice St. since West Acres was developed, according to Humphress, and there are numerous patched spots where sewer repair cuts have been made and conduit crossings cut.

“Nothing has been done except cold patch. Cold patch doesn’t solve the problem,” said Humphress.

Grice St. also has drainage problems because the road is higher than the lots.

Street safety is a major issue on Grice St., which people often use as a shortcut to Berlin Intermediate School, and the street needs speed controls, like curb bumpouts, Humphress said.

“Just seeing crosswalks will slow people down,” he said.    

If sidewalks are part of the work, Humphress wanted to know if they would be paid through a town grant or bond.

No one knows right now how the finances will break down or how far the bond money will go, said town Administrator Linda Bambary.

Humphress also wanted assurances that construction equipment and supplies would be safely fenced off from neighborhood children.

“We need to keep it safe for our kids,” he said.        

Grice St. also needs more illumination, the citizen said.

“I don’t have a street light within 100 feet of my house. It’s the darkest spot on the block and we have had thefts occur,” said Humphress.

Berlin Mayor Tom Cardinale said, “Several issues you brought up on the list are already in the works.”

Council Vice President Gee Williams welcomed the resident’s comments, saying, “Your interest and the interest of other citizens in the area is always a good thing to know.”

The town intends to repair Graham St. and Vince St. as well as Grice St. Work on the street repairs could begin late in spring 2009 after nine months to a year of planning.

“I think everyone on all three of the streets have been extremely patient,” Williams said.