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5 on Your Side: City paves alley, tears it up six days later

9:37 PM, Sep 26, 2012   |    comments
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By Mike Rush

St. Louis (KSDK) - Ken Other found it so hard to believe what he was seeing, he took some quick pictures on his cell phone to capture it.

"I just was, I just flabbergasted," he said.

The blurry images show equipment removing asphalt from the alley behind his house on Hamburg Avenue.

"Tore out probably a full city block worth of asphalt and hauled it off in dump trucks," said Other. "Less than six days after they put it in."

It's true. Last Tuesday a City of St. Louis crew paved the alley behind Hamburg Avenue. Other was excited.

"We've been trying to get it paved for years, it's been pot holes and a muddy mess for years," he said.

Now, all that's left of the asphalt, crumbs along the edges of the once again gravel alley.

Turns out, the asphalt was too high and caused drainage issues for some of the homes.

"It was about four inches thick of asphalt that they paved over the top of this," Other said. "I would have thought the city would have investigated any issues before they would have came in and paved."

5 on Your Side's Mike Rush contacted Todd Waelterman, Director of St. Louis' Streets Department.

"We do a lot of things every day and every once in a while we make a mistake, and this was a mistake, and we're going to make it right," said Waelterman.

He says the alley has been long neglected. It's on the dividing line between the city and county, But bsomething had to be done because rocks were washing into the sewer system.

"It was a gentleman's effort to try to do something, you know, with very little money and it didn't work," he admitted.

Between supplies, and manpower, Waelterman estimates wasted tax dollars to be around $3,000.

"I run my own business and there's no way I could ever stay in business if I just spent money like that, just wasted it," said Other.

Waelterman says his team will redo the alley as soon as there are a few days of dry weather. That will cost $8,000 to $10,000 to do it right.


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