Thursday, April 28, 2022

Road work lawn damage riles Romulus residents

Residential lawns damaged or destroyed by road construction in Romulus will be repaired by the contractor as the work is completed.

Roberto Scappaticci, director of the Romulus Department of Public Works, told members of the city council that he was well aware of the number of complaints from residents during the ongoing roadwork in the city. He appeared at the April 11 meeting to answer any questions councilmembers might have regarding Phase III of the upcoming reconstruction of Beverly Road in the city. 

The 20-percent local matching fee with the State of Michigan for the Beverly Road work totaled $269,527.

Councilwoman Tina Talley asked Scappaticci about control of the project and he explained that it was a tri-party agreement. Romulus has engineering consultants on the project and they work with the Michigan Department of Transportation and the actual contractors to orchestrate and organize the construction. 

He said this project would not differ markedly from the nearly complete Wick Road reconstruction in the city.

Councilwoman Virginia Williams said that she had heard from multiple residents along the Wick Road project who had complaints regarding damage to their lawns and property and that those complaints had “fallen on deaf ears.” She said residents had their yards destroyed and the contractors refused to repair the damages.

“These contractors need to make sure residents are taken care of when their property is destroyed” she said.

Williams added that she felt there should be some discount to the city when contractors close a heavily used road for a length of time as they move on to another job in the city.

Scappaticci explained he was aware that people are frustrated and that there were delays on the Wick Road project. Some of those, he said, were due to the delay in finding custom fabricated equipment necessary for the work. He said some of the supply delays were the result of COVID interruptions.

“We have had weekly meetings and put more than enough pressure on them to expedite the project,” he explained. He said he was confident that the contractor would be forced to “do the right thing” when the project was complete. 

“We'll make sure everyone is put back whole,” he said.

The section of Beverly Road between Merriman and Middlebelt will be completely reconstructed and is expected to be complete in about four months. The expense was approved by a unanimous vote of council members.