EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – Locals were livid, especially when their street was left a mess by the contractor, who started and then left the road and the sidewalk unfinished.
However, blocks away on Belmont, there were new sidewalks that included disabled ramps built by the same contractor. The problem is that not many walk on the sidewalk because there are not a lot of people living in the neighborhood. In many cases, the sidewalks are next to vacant lots and abandoned houses.
One resident Travis Summerville, who lives on North 24th Street, said he was left high and dry.
“It’s not enough residents on the street,” Summerville explained., “It’s like 30 or 40 houses on this street, it’s only five on that one, and they’re putting up sidewalks and they finishing the street up and everything else. I’m asking the mayor, and the mayor not giving us no answers. He ain’t coming down here.”
The previous East St. Louis Mayor Robert Eastern was not able to get the project on track. Charles Powell, who served on the city council defeated Eastern for mayor in the last election. Even after Powell took over, construction workers still hadn’t shown up to finish the work on North 24th Street.
Another local, Johnny Cysrunk, shared that he is fed up.
“They fixing up neighborhoods that don’t really have no residents staying there, and we got a lot of residents and a lot of elderly people stay on this street here that can barely get out and move around, especially when it rains,” he said. “I think it’s a big mess.”
After FOX 2 contacted the mayor, residents said some construction workers have now begun showing up in the neighborhood. The job is far from done, but at least there may be a start.
While residents on North 24th Street may finally see progress in the wake of our investigation, nothing can be done in the multi-million dollar project about all the tax dollars spent on the sidewalk to nowhere.