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Potholes Pose Problems for Amherst Neighborhood

potholeAMHERST, Mass. (WGGB) — ‘An accident waiting to happen’… that’s what one man in Amherst calls the street in front of his house.

He’s just one of several neighbors petitioning the town to repave their roads before someone gets hurt.

Home video sent to ABC40 clearly shows the problem on Berkshire Terrace in Amherst.

ABC40 viewer Dave Ericson struggling to push his wheelchair bound daughter around potholes.

“The roads are atrocious,” said Ericson. “They’ve become worse just in the 2 and half years we’ve lived here. I’ve noticed a lot of problems with our daughter. We have a daughter in a wheelchair and there’s only certain ways we can go thru the neighborhood because of the potholes.”

Ericson’s not alone.

Many longtime residents  in this neighborhood are well aware of the poor road condition.

“This street is just worse and worse,” said neighbor Mary Hocken. “They just fill up the holes but then of course the first rain usually washes them away again.”

Hocken should know… she’s an avid bike rider and has taken a few spills because of all the bumps.

“I have to be very careful on all the streets up here.”

In fact – much of the road surface isn’t surface at all… just rocks and crumbled asphalt.

No one in the neighborhood is quite sure when the last time the road was paved but they all agree it’s been at least several decades.

“My sister- she used to live her,” said Frances Iantosca. “She lives in Connecticut now and when she came in the first thing she said is “Wow, when are they going to fix your roads?” and I said I don’t know. Then my nephews came in with his little kids and he says “What’s the matter, didn’t you pay your taxes?”

Amherst DPW,  is aware of the issue. And while they wouldn’t talk on camera, superintendent Guilford Mooring said budget cuts  are a problem.

Plus, the town is upgrading water and sewer lines and until that work’s done, they’re not going to repave.

That’s small consolation for Ericson… who’s worried for his daughter and for his neighbors. “Of course we see a lot of people who are elderly in the area and I see them out walking all the time and some of them walk in the early morning when it’s dark and I see big concerns for possible fractures and falls.”

Even though the sewer and water line work should be completed this summer, the town doesn’t have Berkshire Terrace on this year’s list of roads for repaving.

As for next year’s list… DPW superintendent  Mooring says they haven’t made it yet.

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