Holes remain in sidewalk long after street light repairs completed

September 04, 2010|By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun

The problem Holes remain in a Northeast Baltimore sidewalk months after streetlight repairs.

The back story The Holts did what they were supposed to do.

About five months ago, they called Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. to report problems with the streetlight in the 7600 block of Mars Ave., in the North Harford Road neighborhood.

Contractors came to repair the light. They dug holes in the sidewalk, and afterward, filled most of them with asphalt, not concrete.

"They filled in a couple of the holes but put a bucket over the one and just left it there and never did anything with it," said Linda Holt, who lives across the street.

A few months later, the patching nearly washed away, she said. And a neighbor who had paid to have her sidewalk replaced now has a big blacktop patch in the center of it.

Holt called BGE's customer service line to alert the utility, and the representative who took her call promised that the company would look into it.

"I never heard anything," Holt said. "They never came back out, nothing."

Holt said she was especially worried because the street is near the Maryland School for the Blind, and sometimes the students walk along the street.

"I just don't want somebody to come and fall," she said.

So her husband Terry, e-mailed Watchdog. We saw that much of the blacktop was missing from the patches. One hole was covered with a white bucket to warn pedestrians.

Watchdog contacted BGE spokeswoman Linda Foy.

She confirmed that a BGE contractor had performed street light maintenance and temporarily patched the sidewalk afterward.

"Baltimore City is responsible for the final restoration work; however, the city apparently never received notification that they could go out and complete the work," Foy said.

She wasn't certain why or how this happened, but BGE has sent a message to city officials to get the work started. Foy noted that people should call BGE to report such problems — as the Holts had done.

BGE sent a crew to make additional temporary repairs to ensure that the area is safe until the permanent fix is made, Foy said.

Linda Holt said Friday that most of the holes had been filled, but the one with the bucket had not been. Now, the bucket is missing.

There was grass growing from the hole, so people might not realize how deep it is, she said.

"People will think it's just a patch of grass," she said.

Who can fix this BGE spokeswoman Foy said readers should call the utility's call center at 410-685-0123 to report problems.

Need help?

Is there something in your neighborhood that's not getting fixed? Tell us where the problem is and how long it's been there by e-mailing watchdog@baltsun.com or calling 410-332-6735.

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