Road's condition has residents complaining
DANVILLE — Lucy Williams lives on the east end of Poland Road but takes a longer route into Danville — just to avoid driving on her street as much as possible.
"We've lived here on this street for 44 years, and this is the worst it's ever been," she said. "I think it would be hard for a wagon train to get over it."
Williams said she and her husband, Burgess Williams, have been calling city officials complaining about the deterioration of Poland for the last three years.
"People would call and they'd send a truck out and put some filler in the potholes, but that is all they would do," she said.
The pavement on the stretch of Poland between North Vermilion Street and Bowman Avenue is crumbling, making for a rough ride.
"It's a mess," said Peggy Hack, another Poland resident.
Hack hasn't bothered to call city officials.
"It wouldn't do any good. They are going to put the money where they want to," she said. "I know money is tight everywhere. A lot of streets are having problems, but you know, they said they would take care of it."
Although the majority of Poland Road is not within city limits, it's the city of Danville's responsibility, thanks to a deal made with the state years ago.
City Engineer David Schnelle said the streets department gets calls about Poland Road, and he's planning to attend a meeting set for July 31 at The Rock Church on Poland Road, where residents will have a chance to discuss the shape of the road with federal, state, city, county and township officials.
"It is in very poor condition," said Schnelle, who explained that sometime around 1995, the city took over that section of road, along with other previously state-owned sections such as Lynch Road, Bowman Avenue and Voorhees.
In exchange, Danville received $1 million in state funding to build a bridge to carry Lynch Road over Interstate 74, opening up more land for industrial development. Alcoa is one company that has developed a site there.
Since that agreement, Schnelle said the city has put $5.5 million into the other streets transferred to the city. The majority of those are inside the city limits.
The trade with the state wasn't a very good deal from the city's perspective, according to Schnelle.
The reason Poland has not yet been addressed while others have, he explained, is because the city prioritizes its limited dollars for streets according to a formula that puts a premium on those with higher traffic counts, more maintenance issues and a higher degree of danger to staff performing roadwork. So Bowman, for example, has been a higher priority because of more traffic and city crews spending a lot of time making repairs, he said.
Schnelle said repaving Poland would be a $400,000 project. At this time, there are no plans to address it, he said.
"We have so many streets in the community that have large traffic volume, and we are stretching dollars to do those," Schnelle said.
That's a shame, says Williams. Filling potholes only does so much.
"They wanted this part; they wanted this road," she said. "Since they took it over they haven't done anything to it."