Getting local governments to address much-needed street repairs can sometimes take years.
A Canadian man’s request to fix the curb in front of his Winnipeg home could take nearly a half-century by the time city workers get around to it.
Calvin Hawley reported damage done to the curb outside his home by a snow removal machine in 1993. Years of calls and complaints went unanswered until the city finally gave him a target date for the repairs: June 26, 2037.
“It’s 26 years old right now, if you do the math and they don’t get around to doing it until their target date of 2037. Then this is damage that would have sat here for  years. How is that reasonable?” Hawley told the Candian Broadcasting Corporation.
“It is kinda funny when you think about. It will be a grand day when they actually come out,” he added.
Hawley remembers the date the curb was damaged–Jan. 26, 1993, the day his second son was born.
“I came home from the hospital … and discovered a large chunk of curb under a whole whack of snow,” he said.
He said he’s called the city on and off for years to plead for repairs. At one point, Hawley was told the city’s system for logging complaints had changed and that his was no longer on record.
As time passed, the rebar on the curb began to crumble and became more exposed. With the help of neighbors, he placed decorative stones where the chunk of curb used to be.
The final straw came on July 1, 2017.
“I was watching crews merrily drive past the front of my driveway to stop and repair other curbs on the other side of the bay that weren’t as damaged as mine or as old,” Hawley told CBC.
He filed yet another complaint later that day. That’s when he was given his repair date, scheduled for nearly 18 years in the future.
Ken Allen, a city spokesperson, told CBC that repairs are always inspected by the city before work can begin. Repairs to residential streets not deemed to be hazardous can take up to more than a year to be addressed, he said.
“The anticipated timeframe for curb repairs to be made varies and also depends on street priority. Regional streets is five years, non-regional streets is ten years and residential streets is 20 years,” Allen said.
Winnipeg City Councillor Brian Mayes said he will bring up Hawley’s issue with the city’s chief administrative officer to get a more realistic date for the delayed curb repair.
“Hopefully, before I’m out of office we’ll knock off [Hawley’s],” Mayes said.
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