Opinion & Editorial

Driving home the point on poor roads

About 20 years ago I read an article in the newspaper about a U.S. Supreme Court hearing concerning the liability of government officials who were responsible for maintaining of public properties, roads, buildings, etc.
The suit was one of many regarding whether government officials — who were advised of hazards and did nothing about it — could be personally liable. There have been many cases and many rulings. It’s no doubt a complex area of law, and varies from state to state.
In the last week or so I got fed up with a hole in the road at the railroad crossing on Highway 99, which is part of Oregon Avenue. I checked with the city manager to find who is responsible for that area, and I was advised it is the state of Oregon.
I then called the Oregon State Highway maintenance office in Roseburg and informed them of the problem; also, I advised them they had torn up a section on the west side of the highway between Oregon Avenue and A Street. This was done five or six years ago and never was repaired, only filled with rock.
They gave me an evasive answer and promised to get back to me shortly. A few days later the hole at the railroad crossing was repaired.
So far, nothing has been done on the year-old hazard the highway department caused on Highway 99 South, nor have they called with a plan for correction.
Pedestrians walking along the street, and cars traveling there, are subject to injury and or damage, especially in inclimate weather when the holes are filled with water.
The office I called is “Kevin Finch, Chief of Maintenance, at 541-255-5233.”
Don’t be surprised to get an automated answering machine. An old saying is: “The squeaky wheel is the one that gets the grease.” The Highway Department works for us, not vice-versa.



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