On Tuesday Barb Kauffman was in tears as she explained why homeowners are frustrated over recent road work on their street. “No one anticipated that it was going to look this bad or be this bad, to the point where we couldn’t even access our driveways,” said Barb Kauffman. “I’m frustrated! I have never seen road work where they have a total disregard for access to people’s property. Whether its ten inches or two inches.”
Marietta Borough recently had West Fairview Avenue widened, from 22 feet to 28 feet. The road was turned into a one-way street and curbs were put in.
Now many driveways are either a foot or more below the street, while others are raised a foot or more above the road.
On Wednesday Kauffman was in better spirits after receiving a visit from a borough employee Jack Rice. Rice let her and other neighbors know the borough will be helping all homeowners transition their driveways to the road.
“They’re planning to do something. Put stone behind people’s curb to help them transition to the roadway. I am very happy that they are reconsidering and doing something about the transition. I’m very pleased that they have reconsidered and that they are going to do something to help the residents,” said Kauffman.
Marietta Borough spokesperson Jack Rice said construction is not completed yet. “We still have some cosmetic work and we are working on some handicapped areas,” said Rice. “The road needed it, it was full of potholes and it didn’t have a good base.”
Rice said doing anything on the other side of the curb was not in the contract, but they will be helping homeowners with driveway access. “We will make sure every person will have access to their driveway by project completion,” said Rice.
Rice said homeowners will still have to pay to have their driveways finished. They will also have to pay to put in sidewalks. “They have one year to put in sidewalks,” said Rice.
Mark Pawling with Pawling Masonry Incorporated gave Kauffman an estimate for the job. “It comes out to like $4,300 for sidewalk, she’s looking at about $2,000 for the driveway,” said Pawling. According to him, it isn’t unusual for construction to leave a mess behind for homeowners and they typically have to pay for it.
Pawling estimates other homeowners could be paying a lot more because they have bigger properties and will have to put in more sidewalk.
Kauffman and other homeowners are disappointed by the magnitude of the costs. “It is pricey and we will have to absorb the cost. I think some people on this street are very limited. I can’t speak entirely for them but there are some elderly individuals on this street. You know some of those individuals are on social security and they may have limited pensions. This isn’t something they planned for and how they are going to cope with it I can’t answer,” said Kauffman.