Residents sound off about driveways, dust, lack of communication that have plagued protracted road project
The pattern for recent Fredonia Village Board meetings has been consistent — allow plenty of time for public comment as residents grow increasingly weary of the reconstruction of Fredonia Avenue.
That scenario played out again at last week’s board meeting when a handful of comments and protests about the protracted road project took almost an hour.
Last month, residents showed up en masse to protest steep driveway approaches that were installed at their properties. Those complaints led to the village calling for much of the concrete work to be redone.
Officials were told the additional work will cost about $67,000 and delay completion of the project by several weeks.
Last week, Fredonia Avenue resident Madonne Rauch told trustees she is increasingly frustrated by the lack of communication about the project, as well as the cloud of dust that routinely hangs over the construction area.
“I went to work one morning only to come home and find out I could no longer get in my driveway. There was no notice or anything,” Rausch said.
Her inaccessible driveway, she said, has forced her to park her car blocks away and navigate the pitfalls of the construction area on foot.
“The roadway is very uneven, and I have fallen twice after tripping on lines hung along the road,” Rausch said.
“And when cars and trucks are passing, it is so dusty I am afraid they can’t see me.”
Rausch said she is worried that a roofing crew scheduled to work on her house won’t be able to get their truck to her property, adding she heard the project could extend into October.
Mike Hauser, owner of the Cabinet Studio on Fredonia Avenue, was equally frustrated.
“It has been very hard to conduct business. It has been very hard to do anything,” Hauser said.
“It it is a nightmare what you’ve created here. In my opinion, it looks like there has been no planning.”
Village President Don Dohrwardt listened and eventually offered some words of hope.
“We didn’t expect it to be this bad. It is going to be rough for the next couple weeks,” Dohrwardt said.
“Things are in flux right now, but in my judgment we can expect to drive on the binder course of the new road by the middle of September.”
In response to public complaints, Village Marshal Mike Davel said he has directed his deputies to keep a close eye on Fredonia Avenue during the construction.
Although traffic is down dramatically because of the barricades placed at the ends of the project area, Davel said his officers have ticketed six drivers who had no reason for driving in the construction zone.
His officers have also issued 19 warnings.
“We are hoping this gets done sooner rather than later so we can get back to normal,” Davel said, voicing a sentiment shared by virtually every village resident.