By Charles Sercombe
As residents on Caniff, between Conant and Buffalo, already know, the street is now open for traffic.
After a whole summer of tearing out the old pavement and installing new water lines, this portion of Caniff sports a pristine white concrete.
Enjoy that new street smell while it lasts, folks.
There was one false start to the re-opening. A couple of weeks before work on the street was completed, some residents took matters into their own hands and removed barricades so they could drive on it, and in some cases park on the street.
Those cars were promptly ticketed.
The repaving project, estimated to cost a little over $1 million, is part of a three-prong approach where the street will eventually be entirely repaved.
The work began a few years ago with repaving Caniff from the I-75 service drive up to Jos. Campau.
And then this year, from Conant to Buffalo.
Guess what’s coming next year?
Yes, the portion of Caniff from Jos. Campau to Conant. Oh, won’t that be fun for residents and businesses along this busy strip?
Conant repaving is just one part of other street and alley repavings happening right now.
The following streets are now being milled and getting ready for repaving:
• Fleming from Caniff to Casmere
• Lumpkin from Carpenter to Commor
• Yemans from Joseph Campau to Gallagher
• Evaline from Joseph Campau to Gallagher
• Yemans from Lumpkin to Dequindre
• Oliver from Conant to City Limits
• Pulaski from Fleming to McKay (to be done in 2024)
As for alleys, the following were repaved this year:
• Alley East of Moran from Commor to Casmere
• Alley East of Joseph Campau from Goodson to Dead End
• Alley West of Joseph Campau from Carpenter to Neibel
• Alley North of Holbrook from Charest to Gallagher
• Alley North of Holbrook from Gallagher to Conant
• Alley East of Conant from Oliver to Dorothy
• Alley East of Joseph Campau from Dan to Council
After this year, next year promises more, said John DeAngelis, the Director of Public Services.
“Next year, there will be quite a bit more,” he said.
It’s all part of $45 million grant allotted to the city through a federal program that the city has been tapping into.
As the streets are being repaved, speed humps are also being installed to slow down traffic in the neighborhoods, something residents have long complained about.
Street repaving isn’t the only thing happening to make the street safer. The city recently installed additional stop signs on sidestreets throughout the city to slow down traffic.
Those new locations include:
• Gallagher at the intersection of Lehman
• Gallagher at the intersection of Jacob
• Ellery at the intersection of Yemans
• Ellery at the intersection of Belmont
• Ellery at the intersection of Trowbridge
• Mackay at the intersection of Pulaski
All of this is part of an ongoing rebuilding of the city’s Public Works Department that had been practically eliminated by former emergency financial managers who decided that privatizing services were the way to go to save money.
DeAngelis has been here for nine months, and he said he would bring back full services.
Since he’s been here the city has purchased two street sweeping trucks, and other equipment, and now the department is also performing tree trimming.
Both of those services had been contracted out with varying degrees of success.
DeAngelis said his department is also focusing on cleaning out catch basins, which has produced the elimination of tons of dirt that had been clogging the waste water lines from street runoffs.
In one instance, workers filled up a dumpster with so much dirt it ended up weighing 50 tons – well above the normal five tons.
DeAngelis said that was one of many reasons why rain water had plugged sewer lines and led to basement flooding.
The cause of that problem involves a number of facets, but this one elimination is “part of a combination of a lot of things that can make a difference,” DeAngelis said.
Posted Sept. 15, 2023