GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio – Rosalind and Charles Homolka have literally been dealing with a rough road to their Garfield Heights home for the past nine months, after road repaving delays in their neighborhood left them and other neighbors, in a rocky mess.
The couple told News 5 that a water main replacement on Garfield Drive that began in January left their street unpaved, extremely hilly and plagued with water-filled holes. Residents believe the situation is causing damage to their vehicles and is a potential safety hazard to delivery drivers and emergency vehicles.
The couple said they contacted Garfield Heights City Hall several times for answers about when their street would finally be restored, but said they received no real information and many broken promises.
“They’ve been studying it for eight months, nine months and we’re going into winter,” Rosalind Homolka said. “Coming here with the road like that, awful, just awful, people coming to visit you. I do not know; we’re just disgusted by it all.
“We can’t do our ride from January, I mean, is that ridiculous?”
Yolanda Hamilton, a resident of Garfield Drive, showed News 5 part of her vehicle’s exhaust system which she said had been tossed about by the rocky pavement. Hamilton said $800 in new tires and a wheel alignment on his car was nothing but a wasted investment.
“You can’t exceed the maximum speed limit going down here,” Hamilton said. “It’s a big mess, big mess. My repair shop told me you just got these tires, do you drive every day in terrible road conditions? And I’m like yeah, that’s the road to my driveway.
News 5 contacted Garfield Heights Mayor Matt Burke about the repaving delays, and the mayor responded immediately. Burke said the extended delays are continuing because the city discovered last week that Garfield Drive needed to have the entire base of the street replaced before new asphalt could be put in place. Burke said he understands homeowners’ growing frustration and said the city hopes to have Garfield Drive replaced before the cold weather moves in this winter.
“I realize this is a real inconvenience for these residents. I realize they’re going through a lot of trouble,” Burke said. “We should send out a letter to everyone on the street, just saying where we are and what the problems are.”
News 5 will continue to follow this developing story.
Meanwhile, some homeowners like Nancy Fiktus are hoping the city keeps its promises, or homeowners could start a petition or take other action until the paving is finally complete.
“It’s our only way to access our garages,” Fiktus said. “It’s ruining our cars, the bottom of my car was hitting. We’re also looking at putting our taxes in an escrow account and maybe just holding because it just doesn’t happen.