EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 23, 2014

Peeved about potholes

Lawrence residents complain about the condition of recently paved intersection at Hampshire and Lowell streets.

By Sara Brown

---- — LAWRENCE — Mayor Daniel Rivera said he plans to review every street where paving work was done in the months before former Mayor William Lantigua left office, especially the ones where potholes have recently appeared because of shoddy work.

“We want to look at the quality of the work and see if it was done properly,” Rivera said in an interview yesterday.

The mayor said he recognizes the condition of the roads as a major citizen concern because his office has been flooded by complaints from angry residents over various potholes all over the city, including one at the corner of Hampshire and Lowell streets. The pothole is wide and takes up about half of the street.

The intersection is one of the 16 streets Lantigua ordered to have paved after contractors warned him it was too late in the year to do the work and released it from liability if the asphalt cracked or buckled.

The ex-mayor got the $397,148 job done by releasing it from the typical one-year warranty. Most of that work has to be redone and the bill is now left for Rivera to pay off.

“We have had it filled a couple of times,” Acting Public Works Director John Isensee said of the pothole at the corner of Hampshire and Lowell streets, just a short walk from the city’s Central Fire Station and the Lawrence Police Department headquarters.

“It just doesn’t seem to want to stay. It’s a busy intersection,” Isensee said.

Isensee said DPW workers began working on the pothole yet again Friday night and plan to do more this week during good weather.

Resident Laurie Carlisle said the streets in Lawrence are in horrendous shape.

“The potholes here are very bad,” she said. “I hit them all the time when I’m driving. They are hard to avoid.”

Carlisle said she drives all the time through the various communities in the Merrimack Valley and knows the conditions of the streets.

“Lawrence by far has the worst streets,” she said.

City resident Donna Vanbuskirk agreed and said the conditions of the streets reflect poorly on the entire community.

“It looks like we don’t care about our city,” Vanbuskirk said.

She said driving through the city can become a painstakingly tedious task.

“You have to drive real slow,” she said. “You don’t want to hit them hard or you will break your car.”

Along with the massive pothole on the corner of Hampshire and Lowell Street, Vanbuskirk said the potholes on Andover Street are also just as bad.

“It’s awful,” she said.

Rivera urged residents to contact the DPW when they notice a pothole.

“We know that Spring not only brings rain but potholes as well,” the mayor said. “More than anything, we need residents to report what they see,” he said.

Isensee advised drivers to drive slowly and cautiously.

“It’s New England, so potholes are common this time of year. People need to drive slowly,” he said.

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