Work begins on Chestnut Drive

City workers carefully dig a ditch to avoid cutting gas, water or sewer line on Chestnut Drive, June 5. The work is part of drainage and road repairs underway in the neighborhood south of town.  (Floyd Ingram / Buy at photos.chickasawjournal.com)

City workers carefully dig a ditch to avoid cutting gas, water or sewer line on Chestnut Drive, June 5. The work is part of drainage and road repairs underway in the neighborhood south of town. (Floyd Ingram / Buy at photos.chickasawjournal.com)

HOUSTON – Ask the people who live on Chestnut Drive, Griffin Street and Pecan Lane and they will tell you they live on the worst street in Houston.

The Houston Board of Mayor and Aldermen were approached by Billy Free last week urging the city to start repairing the streets in his neighborhood.

“I have lived out there for 30 years and have never asked the city for much,” said Free. “I have filled up some of the potholes myself and I’m embarrassed to have company come visit because of the condition of that street.”

Mayor Stacey Parker said “there are a multitude of streets” in need of repair and work was set to begin this week to address drainage issues in the neighborhood.

“My agenda since I was elected has been to fix 50 years of neglect,” said Parker. “Everybody knows we have problems up there with drainage and we’ve got to fix that first before we can start on the street.”

Ricko Nichols, Houston Street Department superintendent, said plans are to rip out curbs and put in culverts at each driveway. Nichols also noted water, sewer and gas service in that area was installed just under the surface and the city’s work would probably expose those pipes.

“It’s going to look different when we get finished and putting a little ditch in front of everyone’s house will change things,” said Nichols. “People are not going to be able to park their cars up there like they have in the past.”

Parker said the Houston Police Department has been notified about ticketing heavy trucks driving on those streets and he urged homeowners to call police when they see loaded log trucks.

Parker said the city has approached the county about using their heavy equipment to help build up the road and improve drainage.

Alderman-at-Large Barry Springer pointed out residents of the City of Houston pay 40 percent of county taxes and he urged taxpayers to contact their supervisor.

“You vote for these supervisors and I urge you to talk to them,” said Springer. “The city is in the county and voters need to hold them accountable.”

Ward 2 Alderman Shenia Jones said that was her district and Chestnut Street has not been forgotten.

“You were one of the streets cut off the list to be paved two years ago,” said Jones. “Chestnut, Pecan, Griffin, the whole area is bad and we are starting to do something about it.”

Houston will use city crews to dig ditches and install culverts. Plans also call for using old milled asphalt to resurface the worst sections in the neighborhood.

The neighborhood has more than 20 homes.

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