Rockford Neighborhood Plagued by Potholes

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Almost everyone knows part of their daily commute involves dodging potholes. But one neighborhood, just can't get around them. They say craters are now costing them big money, and vehicle maintenance isn't the only issue.

"The path here is pretty embarrassing," said Terry Patkus.

For about a year, Patkus has been trying to sell his now deceased father-in-law's home on Marshall Road near Harrison and 11th. He grew up on the same street, and said over time, the roads have only gotten worse.

"They talk about curb appeal. Well what about street appeal?" said Patkus. "It's the first thing you see, and everything else that, you form your first opinion, everything else follows."

Patkus says he's convinced the road scares potential buyers away from his father-in-law's house.

Workers at a pallet making company down the road said they're losing customers because of the poor street conditions leading up to their entrance.

"Well it affects business because people are, that do come, we have a lot of truck drivers with semis that we've lost as customers because they won't even come no more," said Fred Kaehler of H&H Wood Products and Pallets.

The city's public works director said before the streets can be paved in that neighborhood, a whole new drainage system needs to be installed which costs a lot of money.

"An average amount for alderman for their neighborhood ward plan is maybe about 400 thousand dollars," said Tim Hansen. "If you're going to put in a couple of blocks of street with curb and gutter and some storm sewer, you're going to spend half of that just for a couple blocks."

But luckily for the residents of the Marshall Street neighborhood, Hansen said construction on a new drainage system continues this summer, which should eventually help fix the roads for good.

It was only in the 1980s that this neighborhood became a part of the city. Before then it was its own township. Public works said streets were not up to the city's standards when the community was brought in, and the process is long and hard to bring it up to code.

Hansen said the one-percent sales tax increase that took effect in 2007 will allow them to finally address some of the worst parts of the city's nearly 800 miles of road.

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