CBS4 Problem Solvers help Lower Valley neighborhood get street repairs
Raul Chavez has spent more hours than he cares to remember as a street sweeper. He doesn’t do it for a living, rather as a necessity. The more dust he sweeps up, the less gets into his home.
"Look at all this dust we have here in the street,” says Chavez as he scooped up handfuls of dirt from the middle of Carranza Drive in the Lower Valley.
One year ago, El Paso Water Utilities tore up a portion of Carranza Drive and two other paved streets in order to make repairs on a collapsed storm drain. The repairs took six months, and the street was never repaved.
"We've been calling and calling the Water (Utilities), the one that made all this disaster, and they haven't come and fixed anything," said Chavez. “There's a lot of dust inside the houses and we're kind of sick and tired already."
Chavez’s neighbor Guillermo Aranda has put up with the mess as well.
"We have issues with the dirt because of the wind,” said Aranda. “But it seems like because we are a poor neighborhood, no one cares to help us."
CBS4 Problem Solvers went straight to El Paso Water Utilities and spoke with Vice President of Operations and Technical Services Alan Shubert.
"I want to start with an apology, first of all, to the residents,” said Shubert. “We should have done some public outreach and we didn't. So the residents were kind of unaware of what we were doing."
Shubert says even though the drain was repaired in November, a decision was made not to repave the road due to the season's colder temperatures.
“We kind of got stuck at the wrong season for them to be doing hot-mix paving,” said Shubert.
After CBS4 Problem Solvers contacted El Paso Water Utilities and the City of El Paso, arrangements were finally made to send paving crews to the neighborhood. Shubert says work is now underway and should be complete by the middle of May. He also admits that mistakes were made.
"We didn't coordinate this as well as we should have,” said Shubert. “That's not an example of our best effort, I will tell you that."
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