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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Riverview Roads are Wagon Ruts

There's one good thing about the snows that have belted the Riverview neighborhood recently.

The snow has hidden the wagon ruts in the streets.

To see a slideshow of the road ruts in Riverview, please click here.

Roads that were not that smooth to begin with, are virtually destroyed now, between heavy truck traffic to V.O. Dobbins and the HOPE VI home construction, and the ice expansion and constriction in the hot and cold weather.

Has the City of Kingsport noticed how bad the streets are in Riverview?

"We have indeed noticed it," says Ryan McReynolds, Public Works Director for the city. "It's no secret that, with all the construction going on over there and the heavy trucks using the only streets in and out, the damage has spread to the various utilities, the water, sewer and storm drainage."

"They're in pretty rough shape right now."

Does the city have a plan to reclaim the streets, especially Louis, Carver, Douglass and Wheatley?

"Right now, it appears that there has not really been a lot of attention given to the damage that's being done to the streets," McReynolds says. "The plan is right now," McReynolds says, "that I have asked the construction managers over there and the guys from Water and Sewer to try and get a patch system together during construction to at least hold the streets together until the heavy trucks are no longer needed. Once the construction is done, we'll assess the condition of the streets, to see if a more permanent patching is needed, or a complete recapping is the best solution."

McReynolds says, in at least one spot, he has noticed, there are some water leaks that have occurred, indicating the ruts have dug through the asphalt and the ground underneath and reached water pipes and the storm water runoff drain pipes underneath. He says, the repair process will address that.

Although the streets are in pretty bad shape, the man in charge of hundreds of miles of city streets says, now is not the time for permanent fixes for a couple of reasons.

"The up and down temperatures that keep freezing the water into ice, then thawing it back out again keeps creating holes that are hard to keep up with," says McReynolds, "and then, there's the extra added problem of the heavy trucks coming in and out. Until we can get out of the winter and get far enough along that the trucks aren't needed anymore, any kind of permanent patching is useless."

The public works director says, that should clear up in a month, when warmer weather returns to the Riverview Community, and then this summer, when most of the heavy construction work on V.O. Dobbins and the HOPE VI homes will be finished.

"The condition of the streets in Riverview, is separate from regular potholes," McReynolds says. "In Riverview, we're actually seeing structural damage to the streets from the rutting.

"Last year, we purchased a one-man pothole patching machine that's able to more readily and quickly address a pothole where the top layer has popped off. During the winter last year, we were plagued with a tremendous number of potholes around the city. We had gone through a couple of mild winters and we used a lot of salt, a lot of liquid, and many of the pothole lids popped off. We haven't see that this year, but Riverview is a different story."

McReynold promises quick action to address the destruction of the streets in the Riverview neighborhood.

"We'll be addressing that issue with the various contractors over there, and we urge folks to let us know if the roads become impassable. They are our eyes and ears when it comes to the roadways, and if they see anything, please pass it along."