View Full Version : How can you tell a government construction job?

09-19-2009, 12:45 PM
You can tell the government was involved when it takes almost 5 months to do something that normal contractors would have completed in maybe 2-3 weeks.

I believe it was late March when the St Louis County street/highway department rolled into our subdivision. It's a very small subdivision, one street maybe a block and a half long, with another street that veers to the right near the entrance to the subdivision and joins our main street. So at the most you have perhaps the equivalent of 2 city blocks.

First they took down most of the trees on Earth Day! :mad: I didn't realize when buying this house that the county owns the sidewalks and the grass strip between the sidewalks and street. They took down any trees whose roots might have lilfted the sidewalks. Then they asked owners if they'd like "their" trees removed. I told them to keep their hands off my tree. I was not as vocal as a few neighbors, who had large laminated signs attached to their tree, saying "leave our tree alone".

Then we come to the sidewalks. They took forever, carefully removing only the small segments that were bad. Sooo, we now have a patchwork quilt of different color concrete.

The streets were the worst. They are concrete. All summer I felt that we were living in the Great Dust Bowl. They have been using the piledrivers to tear up the concrete. At first, it looked like they wouldn't be doing the crazy quilt sidewalk thing.

I was wrong. We have a myriad of various color concrete. I asked why they at least didn't have the same color. I was told "government low bid".

What a boondoggle! The only good thing I can say is at last they're gone. The streets now look patchy, but better than when they put the blacktop patches on the concrete streets and had the enormous potholes.

I asked the foreman why they didn't just knock out one side of the street, lay the concrete, then do the other side. He said that a county inspector checked each and every patch of concrete and marked those that only had 1 or 2 cracks, to be left in. He said they were trying to save money.

I commented that it would have been so much cheaper to get the job done in less time, instead of the crazy careful removal of each piece. He admitted that on the other street they had damaged adjoining slabs, but just did make-do patches. I'm glad that they didn't do that on the main drag, where we live.

Hooray, the project that looks like it was done by a government committee is over. They're gone, hopefully the roofers will be done soon, and for the first time since March we'll have peace and quiet. :):D

09-19-2009, 12:48 PM
Now your property will be worth more and your taxes will go up!

09-19-2009, 02:50 PM
This new street job was a bit of a joke. I mean, just rip up the friggen
street and pour a new one so everything looks clean. Nope. They started
running out of money!!!:eek: Where are the O Dollars I ask!!!! :D

09-19-2009, 03:07 PM
SLW are you expecting bureaucrats to be in possession of common sense? :D

09-19-2009, 03:46 PM
SLW are you expecting bureaucrats to be in possession of common sense? :D

You've got a good point. Can you imagine all the silliness I've seen after selling to the federal and municipal governments the last 25 years? It's been tough keeping my mouth shut and not saying what I really feel. :D

09-20-2009, 01:46 PM
I was lucky.About 3-4 years ago our street (maybe .2mi long) was repaved. We got a letter on our door and the following week a couple trucks with equipment showed up around 7am and by the time I got home (then in high school) around 2pm everything was gone. The new pavement seemed to extend into our yard a bit more (maybe 6"-1'), but that wasn't much of a problem. The old pavement wasn't even that bad, just a couple of slim cracks on the whole street. Of course, they simply added a thin layer of blacktop over the original 20 y.o. blacktop...not as complex as tearing up concrete.