Citizens do their own patching after years of reporting bad road

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Neighbors and a trucking company that share a road on the near south side say they're sick of repairing their road by themselves.

Scott Cothron called CBS4 Problem Solvers for help, saying when he looks out from his front porch every day, he sees his road deteriorating.

"It was like my only option was to try to put it on the news and hopefully something will get done," Cothron said.

Cothron has lived on South Werges Avenue, near Madison Avenue, for decades. He said for the past few years, the east end of the road as it turns onto Camden Street has become a danger. The road is stripped, with massive potholes down the center, and no drainage which often causes it to flood.

As CBS4 watched, drivers of cars and semi trucks attempted to navigate down the road, many going around into a neighbor's yard.

"I would say that I have probably reported it at least 25 times," Cothron said. "I work on all sides of town, I see a lot of streets. I haven’t seen one this bad."

Brinderjit Singh owns a trucking company at the corner of Werges and Camden. He said that for the past few years, he's resorted to renting a Bobcat, buying gravel, and filling in the road himself.

"Every year it got worse and worse," Singh said.

Singh estimated that he's spent more than $10,000 trying to repair the road. He and Cothron both told CBS4 Problem Solvers that they have reported it to the city numerous times.

We wanted to know why the road has yet to be fixed, so we went to both the Mayor's Office and Department of Public Works for answers.

In a series of emails, DPW spokespeople told CBS4 Problem Solvers that the requests initially made to the Mayor's Action Center noted more minor problems with the road, like potholes, not the bigger drainage issue which is contributing to the deterioration.

A spokesperson said the Department inspected the road last fall and again this June, and has assigned it to the Master Needs List. That means the road will be fixed, but not until the city comes up with a plan to address the underlying issues, and frees up the the money to do the work.

A spokesperson for the Mayor's Office said that the neighborhood advocate for the area did go out to inspect the road herself, and that "we have taken this concern seriously and are working to address the long term factors that cause the issue."

Cothron, though, said he wishes he'd been taken seriously years ago, under a previous administration. He said that his numerous calls to various people have mostly gone unanswered, and the plan for the road has not been communicated to him.

He's hoping that the road will be fixed as promised, so that he won't have to keep worrying about it every day when he steps outside.

"I'm embarrassed to have people over," Cothron said. "Citizens shouldn't have to pay to try to fix the street."

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