5 On Your Side

Five On Your Side Digs In To Help Resolve Ditch Dilemma

Posted July 22, 2004

— As homeowners, it can be easy to forget that part of our yard belongs to the state. The Department of Transportation can tear it up for widening or make various repairs.

You would expect crews would fix whatever they disturb. When a DOT fix did not appear finished, Rose and Tracy Massey called Five On Your Side.

In September, heavy rains nearly washed the road leading to the Massey's home away. A Department of Transportation crew came out immediately.

"They were going to try and solve this problem of the water flooding from that ditch up onto the road and washing out the road," homeowner Rose Massey explained.

The Masseys say the DOT created another problem instead -- a ditch almost five feet deep.

The Masseys expected DOT workers to come back and finish. After waiting seven months, Rose Massey called the DOT in April. They told her the work was finished.

"So now we have one open pipe over here, one open pipe over here, and just this big, big, 5-foot deep hole in our front yard that is very dangerous if a child was to fall in," Massey said.

Massey called Five On Your Side.

After a call from Five On Your Side, the DOT sent out a crew to add stones to the bottom and sides of the ditch for support.

DOT district engineer Brandon Jones says the ditch was fine the way crews left it in September; however, he says it would have eventually required additional work.

"From a shape standpoint, the ditch was dug correctly. From a stabilization standpoint, we needed to come back in here and place the large stone," he said.

Jones says that may not have happened for years. As for its appearance, Jones says the main concern is that it works.

"Our number one priority here is drainage of the roadway," he said.

The Masseys say it is a start, but it is not exactly what they had in mind. They are relieved to see something done.

The DOT agreed to go back out, reduce the slope of the ditch and put more stones along the sides for support. The Massey's say no one ever did that.

Wednesday afternoon, a DOT spokeswoman told Five On Your Side someone would be out there on Thursday to finish the job.

Crews came out Thursday morning and removed the stones. Friday, they will work on reducing the slope of the ditch, then put the stones back in.

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