Two officials recommend repairing Ewers in 2005

By Mike Anthony

Two Crestwood officials are recommending that Ewers Drive, currently rated as the city’s second-worst street, be reconstructed during the 2005 construction season.

As reported exclusively by the Call, residents of the 9300 block of Ewers Drive recently presented a petition to the Crestwood Board of Aldermen citing the poor condition of their street and asking that it be repaired.

In his June 4 “Operations Report” to the Board of Aldermen, City Administrator Don Greer notes because of “the vastly deteriorated condition of Ewers, a full rebuild is necessary and is being scheduled for the 2005 construction season.”

Work planned for this construction season, Greer noted, includes Fieldcrest, Fournier and Hutchins, “which are scheduled to receive work designed to extend the life of those streets and prevent them from deteriorating to the condition of Ewers.”

The petition containing 36 or 37 signatures was presented to the Board of Aldermen May 25 and several residents of Ewers Drive addressed the board regarding the condition of their street. At that meeting, Greer told residents he agreed that Ewers Drive is in “horrible” condition and said it would cost roughly $145,000 to properly repair the 9300 block.

However, Greer also noted that any decision to repair Ewers Drive would have to be made by the Board of Aldermen, and, given the city’s current financial situation, aldermen would have to rearrange some priorities if they decided to do the work during the current construction season.

In his June 4 report, he wrote, “It is certainly the board’s choice to reprioritize work, but I would mention to you that I do not believe we can afford to add the estimated $145,000 — 9300 block of Ewers — to the current 2004 schedule. We can schedule Ewers for the 2005 construction schedule and complete the entire street — estimated at $345,000.”

In a May 28 memorandum to Greer, Director of Public Works Jim Eckrich discussed planned work for the 2004 construction season and recommended that Ewers from Garber to Clydesdale be reconstructed during the 2005 construction season.

“As we have discussed, I am in the process of creating a new five-year plan and hope to reconstruct Ewers from Garber to Clydesdale in the summer of 2005,” Eckrich wrote. “If the city cannot afford to reconstruct the entire length of Ewers in 2005, I will recommend that at a minimum, the portion of Ewers from Garber to Lawndale — the 9300 block referred to in the petition — be reconstructed.

“The section between Garber and Lawndale is in a significantly worse condition. The preliminary estimated cost for reconstructing Ewers from Garber to Clydesdale is $350,000, while the preliminary estimate to reconstruct Ewers from Garber to Lawndale is $145,000. I will verify these estimates as part of the five-year plan,” he added.

For the 2004 construction season, Eckrich is recommending:

• An asphalt mill and overlay on Wildwood Circle, Fournier, Fieldcrest and Hutchins.

• Microsurfacing on Pardee Road.

• Concrete slab replacement within-house crews.

“It is difficult for me to drive Ewers and see its poor condition and to see the residents from Ewers at the board meeting complaining about their street,” Eckrich wrote. “However, it is my responsibility to recommend the best use of available street funds. The proper treatment for Ewers Drive is a concrete reconstruction from Garber to Clydesdale.

“As mentioned above, the cost for such a reconstruction will be approximately $350,000. I hope to be able to work such a reconstruction into the budget for 2005. However, I cannot recommend the reconstruction of Ewers Drive over any of the proposed projects for 2004,” the public works director wrote.

Among the reasons Eckrich gave for his recommendations for street work during the 2004 construction season are:

• “The asphalt mill and overlay will improve four streets that are also in very poor condition. These streets currently are ranked as the first-, third-, fourth- and ninth-worst streets in the city, according to the latest pavement condition ratings. These streets should be improved as soon as possible, as it is my recommendation that they are still in a condition to be improved with an economical surface treatment — mill and overlay. By postponing work on these streets, the streets will continue to degrade and the chance of a mill and overlay working effectively will decrease …,” he wrote.

• “Another factor to consider on the mill and overlay is that the residents on Fieldcrest, Fournier and Hutchins were promised reconstruction on their streets and later postponed on three different occasions,” Eckrich wrote, noting that a “skin lift,” a one-inch lift on asphalt, was applied on Fieldcrest. “… While I cannot economically justify the reconstruction of these streets, a mill and overlay will greatly improve the aesthetics, ‘rideability’ and service life of the streets …”

• “Wildwood Circle Drive was originally planned for a mill and overlay in 2002, but the project was delayed due to the home development project on that street. The trucks from that project have greatly worsened the condition of Wildwood Circle and I would say that its condition is similar to Ewers. Since it can be treated by the economical asphalt overlay, I recommend that it is included with the asphalt mill and overlay package in 2004.”

If the Board of Aldermen decides to reconstruct the 9300 block of Ewers during the current construction season, Eckrich wrote, “… An additional $145,000 should be allocated from the capital improvements fund or $145,000 worth of proposed work should be removed from the recommended 2004 construction projects. In the interim, I will instruct city maintenance crews to temporarily address Ewers Drive with some asphalt replacement and grinding.

“While this type of work will not last long, it should help postpone the service life of this street until the summer of 2005. In addition, I will have city crews regularly check Ewers Drive and address potholes and other surface defects on an as-needed basis …,” he wrote.

In his report, Greer noted that Eckrich’s memorandum was delivered to Acting Mayor Richard Breeding, “who has contacted one of the petitioners from Ewers. We will be providing a copy to the residents who signed the petition.”