For those of us who live on either South Rogers or West Main, we are now into our ninth week of road construction. Aside from the obvious inconveniences of the roads being closed, neighbors who do not have access to their driveways are having to park on side streets and the tremendous amount of dust hanging in the air is like Los Angeles smog. I have also been concerned about how much of the easement would be destroyed.
In March, my easement and half of my front yard was torn up for the installation a new natural gas line. Once this project was complete, it took about eight weeks for the grass to grow back and for the irrigation company to come out to fix my sprinklers. So, in the back of my mind, I thought this work may be a waste of time given the impending demolition and construction of the street gutters.
Then, two weeks ago, the construction crew began tearing out the old gutters on Main. Much to my relief, the impact on the easement was minimal. I thought, even allowing for some room for miscellaneous construction, this project may only impact six to eight inches of my grass. Wonderful! Our trees, lilies and sprinklers are safe! Not so fast.
Monday morning, I went out for my usual walk and as I passed the Community Center, I was shocked to see the excavator stripping about six inches of grass and top soil from the entire easement. I couldn't believe my eyes! I am clearly not a expert in road construction but the seemed to me to be a case of clear cut vandalism. When I returned home, I called the project manager and he very calmly explained that the trimming of the easement was necessary so they can grade the area from the sidewalk to the new gutter which may be higher or lower than the previous gutter. I was also reassured by Jim Gallogly, the city's Public Works Director, that the cost of providing the new top soil and grass seed would be born by the project. While it is now obvious I wasted my time worrying about the condition of the easement grass earlier in the year, I was pleased the city will take care of this replanting. This makes all of the inconvenience, dirt and road closures worth it, right? NO ... this better be one fantastic new road!