Fresno sidewalk project raises eyebrows for resident

August 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Fresno man is upset over what he calls a misuse of public funds.

At issue is a sidewalk replacement project in a neighborhood near Fulton and Nevada in Central Fresno.

Action News talked to Jack Fletcher, who says tax payer money is being wasted on a chunk of sidewalk repairs outside his home.

Fletcher insists some of the slabs of concrete being replaced looked brand new. Fletcher is proud of his historic home and what he says used to be a pristine sidewalk.

"Thursday morning when I swept my sidewalk and I went to breakfast and came back, it was gone," Fletcher said.

Fletcher believes the city of Fresno ripped out perfectly good concrete.

A Caltrans spokesperson says that sidewalk was repaired within the last decade and Fletcher thinks replacing it so soon is a waste of money.

"I am angry because we can't get other services done and they're wasting the money here. There's so many things like the street lights are out," Fletcher said.

But city leaders disagree. Brian Russell with the public works department says the repairs were necessary because century-old cedar trees uprooted problems for anyone walking the path.

"So the roots had lifted the sidewalk out of the ground to the extent that pedestrians were able to travel down that and we had a person in a wheelchair make a complaint a while back," Russell said.

All the lumps and bumps don't comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and that alone he thinks was worth the $70 thousand price tag.

"Had we not replaced the sidewalk we would have been liable for recognizing a defect and not making the repairs while we're there," Russell said.

A state gas tax funded those repairs. The whole project should wrap up in about two or three weeks.


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