$12 million to fix 15,000 Flint lawns, sidewalks torn up for water pipe replacement

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FLINT (WJRT) (06/26/2019) - The Flint City Council approved funding to restore thousands of lawns torn up when water pipes were replaced or explored.

Homeowners say the fix cannot come soon enough. An exploratory dig last summer destroyed part of Charles Summerville's sidewalk, so he took matters into his own hands by re-seeding his lawn.

"They put gravel in there. Snowblower throws rocks all through the winter," he said.

Summerville's concern now is damage to the road.

"This keeps getting washed out like a dirt road," he said. "I'm hoping they redo this here, because my driveway is all broke out because of that too."

Summerville's home is among approximately 15,000 addresses in Flint whose lawns, sidewalks and streets are slated to be restored soon. Council members approved a $12.1 million contract with Goyette Mechanical for the work.

The city said restoration work was suspended over the winter and picked back up in mid April.

"I wouldn't have let them tear it up if I had known that they weren't going to fix it," said Linda Sullenger.

She's fed up with the lack of progress on Herrick Road. Unable to reach anyone by phone at City Hall, she's approaching the anniversary of her sidewalk filled with gravel.

It's not just her house she's concerned about. Sullenger pointed out a sidewalk in front of a house at the end of her street that was removed last fall.

The barricade put in place at the time is still standing.

She wants that corner addressed, fearing it poses a safety risk to the kids in the neighborhood.

"They ride their bikes all the time," Sullenger said. "I can just imagine one of them turning the corner and falling."

It's not just bikes that are impacted by the digs.

"We all drive on the wrong side of the road to get down our road," Sullenger said, pointing out a dangerous intersection where part of the road has bottomed out. "They haven't got out here fast enough."

While disappointed with delays, Sullenger is glad to hear about the plan to move forward.

The project manager for Goyette said as soon as they get the contract and addresses from the city, they'll begin restoration work.

First Ward Councilman Eric Mays said funding for the contract will be drawn from federal and state funds that came with the $97 million settlement with the Concerned Pastors for Social Change and others.

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