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Cleveland resident stops waiting for city, fixes own street's potholes with concrete

Posted at 7:25 PM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-08 19:25:30-04

A NewsChannel 5 investigation broke new details about numerous problems in Cleveland's residential streets resurfacing system.

People are so upset with that system, they're taking matters into their own hands.

It's a system that so many city leaders inside of it say needs repaired.

When you go years, if not decades without having a paved street, people are beyond frustrated. "(My street) was just peeling out. It was coming out by chunks," said Terrell Bibbs, who has lived on Evangeline Road for a while.

"Fighting our own street every day for 20 years."

INVESTIGATION | Broken Roads, Broken System: How Cleveland's road repair system is failing you

Finally, Bibbs thought it was time. "Went out there poured it in there. We found some makeshift markers so wouldn't nobody run over it," said Bibbs who pointed out a big pothole not filled by city workers, but by Bibbs and a neighbor who had leftover concrete lying around.

"You have to laugh to keep from being upset about it," he told us.

Some city council members have said they're upset about street repaving--a city service that, by the way, they're directly involved.

"I think it's still broken,” said Councilman Zach Reed in a recent interview.

"The streets are in very, very bad shape,” Councilman Kevin Conwell told us.

"The system isn't working,” said Mike Polensek who is Bibb's city council representative. "Stevie Wonder could see the streets that are in bad condition in this city.  Okay? That's how bad they are.  And we've got to come up with a game plan."

The newest game plan in the past two years has been to give city wards different amounts of money based on a 'worst-first' philosophy. Worst streets get the most attention. A strategy already discredited by a national pavement expert we interviewed in our initial investigation.

"We cannot afford to continue to build and use the worst-first philosophy,” said Larry Galehouse who is the founder of the National Center for Pavement Preservation at Michigan State University.

In 2015, Ward 12 had 19 streets repaved while five other wards in Cleveland had a combined 15 streets redone.

Councilman Ken Johnson is the chairman of the council committee that oversees street repaving.

He's in charge of council group's input.  We asked, "Is that a fair system for people who are living in the ward that only gets three streets?”

“I don't think so,” said Johnson.

At this point, with so many city leaders questioning the system, Bibbs is asking who's doing what especially after the city sent not a paver but a street cleaner last week to sweep up his terrible road.

"The street cleaner is fighting the holes just as we are,” said Bibbs.

Are you as confused about the system as we are?
If so, fill out our feedback form through our Broken Roads, Broken System page and let us know.

By the way, the Cleveland Mayor's Office is still silent on our request for an interview.