- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

LECLAIRE, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa city is tearing up some suburban streets after years of problems blamed on poor construction.

Residents of The Bluffs subdivision in LeClaire have long complained about buckling sidewalks and gaps in the streets’ concrete. Now, the Quad-City Times reports (https://bit.ly/1h955ls ), efforts to stabilize, study and replace the streets has proven expensive.

About 18 months ago, crews spent $360,000 to pump a concrete mix under the subdivision’s streets to prevent their collapse. After more study, crews have begun tearing up parts of the 13-year-old streets and rebuilding them to a higher standard.

The first round of road replacement will cost $835,000.

Engineers blamed the problems on poor construction but said too much time had passed to make the developer pay.

Although the city is paying to fix the streets, it’s unclear who is responsible for damage on private property, such as driveways and sidewalks.

“They’re getting the roads redone now, which is good,” said Billie Edwards, whose home is in the middle of the most problematic area. “After all these years, they still haven’t told us whether they’re going to fix the damage that was done to private property.”

Joe McGivern, who lives in the subdivision, said the Edwards’ property has the worst damage, with uneven sections of concrete. But there are problems throughout the neighborhood, and residents will complain if the city covers some property owners’ costs and not others.

It’s clear the developer is to blame, but McGivern noted the city allowed the substandard construction and didn’t act when problems were first noted.

“I think they (city officials) are trying to do right, and I understand they don’t have a blank check,” McGivern said. “By the same token, people bought out here in good faith and continue to pay hefty property taxes. I have a feeling they’re hoping to get out of this without any litigation.

“I think that’s a very naive thought.”

City Administrator Ed Choate declined to comment on issues surrounding personal property damage in The Bluffs.

City Council member Terri Applegate said she will reserve judgment on the matter until an engineer inspects each property and identifies the cause of the damage.


Information from: Quad-City Times, https://www.qctimes.com

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