CLEVELAND — Homeowners living on East 72nd Street in Cleveland’s Broadway neighborhood have serious questions about infrastructure funding, after dealing with two water main breaks and sinkhole issues for weeks.
Marlene Mitchell told News 5 that the constant water leak in her neighborhood has created a growing sinkhole in front of her house and has worried her so much about neighborhood safety that she’s been too scared to use her driveway since February. Mitchell said calls to the city produced few results that left her and her neighbors with little information about when repairs will be completed.
“Oh my God, I’m so upset, I don’t know who to call and contact to get this taken care of,” Mitchell said. “I’m so worried about a collapse, I don’t even know what’s under the pavement, because if someone steps on it, it’s going to collapse and someone is going to get hurt. Nobody don’t answer me on what happened how is this going to be fixed, who is going to fix it, how long is it going to take, the sinkhole has been there since february.
Fellow homeowners Melanie Taylor and Matthew Clark told News 5 that their neighborhood deserves more funds for infrastructure improvements and believe if the water main problem had happened in Tremont or the ‘Ohio City of Cleveland, or a northeast Ohio suburb, repairs would have been completed weeks ago.
“My husband came through the door and he’s like oh my god there’s a river out front,” Taylor said. “I’ve lived here all my life, I don’t understand it, because we’re good people here and we’re also hard-working people.”
“If it was the suburbs, they probably would have gone there right away,” Clark said. “Don’t forget us, put us on the back burner, we also pay our taxes, like everyone else.”
News 5 reached out to Ward 6 City Council Speaker Blaine Griffin, who called the water department to verify the repairs and give us a progress report on the quest to attract major federal funding from infrastructure in Cleveland over the next year. Griffin said a group of council members traveled to Washington DC in March to lobby for Cleveland’s share of the recently passed $55 billion federal infrastructure bill.
“I sympathize with the owners and understand their frustrations,” Griffin said. “We have to make sure we get help from the federal government because the local government won’t be able to support the infrastructure needs that we have.”
“There has never been a more urgent time for us to pull together and press our federal government to ensure we meet the infrastructure needs of these legacy cities like Cleveland. I believe the Utilities Department identifies priority lines that need to be repaired. »
News 5 also contacted the Cleveland Water Division about the water line and sinkhole issues and they responded immediately, dispatching repair crews to the scene on May 27, quickly stopping the flow of water. the water. News 5 will continue to monitor ongoing repairs in the neighborhood.
Meanwhile, Mitchell was happy with the water department’s response but hopes they will follow up and complete the job in the coming days.
“They came, they took pictures, but it still hasn’t been fixed,” Mitchell said. “I called you, they came and they fixed the problem the day I spoke to you, but it’s been there since Friday.”