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USPS/Road Construction

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dnuvek

Member
Apologies if this is posted in the wrong place - couldn't find a better/more descriptive area to ask.

This is in Wisconsin.

Our town/village decided to tear out/rebuild our road, sidewalk, gutter, etc.

After speaking to 30 residents on the road, here are the issues (thus far):

No notice of any kind was given to any of us, not even today (5th day of construction). After hammering the village, we discovered we are paying for this (they won't say how much, best guess is $500 a year for 5-7 years on our taxes).

Driveways have been blocked off with no warning, massive ditches outside of our homes preventing us from leaving/coming for days at a time - no warning, no one saying anything to anyone.

Third day on the job, they hit a gas main. Gas company was immediately contacting customers - again, not a word from the village or the construction crew (private company) that was hired.

Second day on the job, they removed all mailboxes on the curb. Not a word from anyone. Contacted the local USPS - they had no idea where the mailboxes were and never were told about any construction taking place. Mail has been disrupted for days. Found the mailboxes 1/2 mile down the road. I DO know that if I wanted to move my mailbox, I need to get the USPS approval first - I believe there are laws against what they did here.

Some of us came home from work to find their lawns dug up (drainage going in near them) - they were not notified of this happening.

All of this seems rather ridiculous. What we are wondering is, shouldn't we have been told (and given some notice) ahead of time? Shouldn't the USPS have been made aware of this? Would it be that difficult for them to say "On Thursday and Friday don't park in your driveway" instead of coming home from work and finding a 12' ditch behind your parked car so it can't move?



Thanks.
 


xylene

Senior Member
I suggest you and your 30 neighbors pool and hire a lawyer advocate for your interests. I'd also suggest you go, en masse as a group to the town office and demand answers, and do the same group action at town and community meetings.
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
No notice of any kind was given to any of us, not even today (5th day of construction). After hammering the village, we discovered we are paying for this (they won't say how much, best guess is $500 a year for 5-7 years on our taxes).
When you say "we will be paying" do you mean your and your affected neighbors or the citizens of the village?
 

dnuvek

Member
When you say "we will be paying" do you mean your and your affected neighbors or the citizens of the village?
Homeowners on my street will be paying for the road, gutter, sidewalk (we already had a sidewalk, they are replacing that as well), all the work being done, etc. This will be added on our taxes for years to come (but we don't know how much or for how long - apparently no one knows). Only us on this street will be paying for this. "This" being the work that no one on my street knew about until after it started.

When I was looking at purchasing a home elsewhere, the realtor said she had to notify us if taxes were increasing due to a new road/etc. We had to sign off on being told that (and it was many months before the work would even begin). Which has me wondering why the realtor had to tell us - but a homeowner themselves don't need to even be told about it.
 

xylene

Senior Member
Also - pratical advice - go to a car store or like harbor freight and buy a set of aluminum loading ramps. Use them to move your vehicle over the construction ditch. Been there, done that. Be careful. (If you have a lighter car a couple of stout boards will do.

OR, get a shovel and fill the ditch in in 2 spots the width of your tires and drive out. Be sure to tamp it down real good.
 

dnuvek

Member
I suggest you and your 30 neighbors pool and hire a lawyer advocate for your interests. I'd also suggest you go, en masse as a group to the town office and demand answers, and do the same group action at town and community meetings.
Thank you for your quick response.

This is what we have been wondering, if it would even be worth while to speak up about this or not. If all we can (legally) do is voice our concerns that is fine ... I'm truly interested to know more in regards to the USPS though. I can't find any information that states a township supersedes USPS federal code. The USPS employee that I spoke to in the village was more than surprised when I spoke to her. Pure and simple: If laws were broken, I want to hold those that broke the laws responsible (just as I would be held responsible for doing the same thing).
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
There's really nothing you can do about any lack of notification to the USPS - that's their battle to fight.
 

xylene

Senior Member
I
I
I

You have an entire community affected by this. I bet you probably don't even know your any of you neighbors and would not feel comfortable asking them for a thing, let alone fighting as a group.

That's probably why city hall is treating you like dirt and throwing your mailboxes in a field.

If you want to hold them accountable, make sure they aren't reelected.
 

dnuvek

Member
Also - pratical advice - go to a car store or like harbor freight and buy a set of aluminum loading ramps. Use them to move your vehicle over the construction ditch. Been there, done that. Be careful. (If you have a lighter car a couple of stout boards will do.

OR, get a shovel and fill the ditch in in 2 spots the width of your tires and drive out. Be sure to tamp it down real good.
I don't think that way. My point of view is simplistic on this entire ordeal.

Why should I (or anyone else in a similar situation) need to spend my money to get around someone else's project and complete lack of planning.

Last Friday I was home when the construction company decided to dig a ditch under the back of my vehicle. They didn't knock on my door and ask me to move my vehicle. They didn't leave a note on my door saying "Hey, on Friday - don't park in your driveway." Then they left and didn't return until Monday. Purely absurd.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
I don't think that way. My point of view is simplistic on this entire ordeal.

Why should I (or anyone else in a similar situation) need to spend my money to get around someone else's project and complete lack of planning.

Last Friday I was home when the construction company decided to dig a ditch under the back of my vehicle. They didn't knock on my door and ask me to move my vehicle. They didn't leave a note on my door saying "Hey, on Friday - don't park in your driveway." Then they left and didn't return until Monday. Purely absurd.
Should they do it? No. DID they do it? Yes. Are you saying that you sat in your home all day fuming about the stuff you were missing out on because a ditch was dug behind your car? Are you saying that practical solutions to the immediate problem are of absolutely no concern to you? That's like buying a boat, taking it on the lake and then complaining that the boat shouldn't leak while it sinks around you instead of plugging the hole.
 

xylene

Senior Member
Why should I (or anyone else in a similar situation) need to spend my money to get around someone else's project and complete lack of planning.
You and your neighbors could share a ramp.

You could ask the city Dept of Public Works if they have ramps (they certainly do) and to borrow them please. Heck, you could ask the contractor that. Heck if you had a pair, you could just 'borrow' them off their truck and put em back.

You could find a neighbor who is into cars or dirt bikes or snowmobiles and borrow the ramp they already have.

I think the simplicity you are endorsing is more than slightly blockheaded and VERY much not self reliant and not at all community oriented.
 

dnuvek

Member
I
I
I

You have an entire community affected by this. I bet you probably don't even know your any of you neighbors and would not feel comfortable asking them for a thing, let alone fighting as a group.

That's probably why city hall is treating you like dirt and throwing your mailboxes in a field.

If you want to hold them accountable, make sure they aren't reelected.
First name basis on 90%.

I'm one of the more critical thinkers. There are 3-4 red-in-the-face types that are less than happy and have expressed their feelings already (which were dismissed).

You are 100% correct on the elected part and we've already discussed that. Honestly the 8 or so elected officials have family ties throughout the village & town. They have held positions for 20 years or more (handed down to grand kids in some cases). But I agree with you there.
 

dnuvek

Member
You and your neighbors could share a ramp.

You could ask the city Dept of Public Works if they have ramps (they certainly do) and to borrow them please. Heck, you could ask the contractor that. Heck if you had a pair, you could just 'borrow' them off their truck and put em back.

You could find a neighbor who is into cars or dirt bikes or snowmobiles and borrow the ramp they already have.

I think the simplicity you are endorsing is more than slightly blockheaded and VERY much not self reliant and not at all community oriented.
It certainly sounds like what is taking place here is in no way breaking any laws or regulations. Essentially what you are saying is that when a road crew is hired, the homeowner has very few rights and they have to "deal". That was the purpose of my question. The USPS still is concerning a bit to me. There are laws, federal laws, which I still believe have been violated. Probably not even a case I could present as that would have to come from USPS themselves.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
It might very well be breaking laws, regulations, etc., but you have to be a realist at times.
 

dnuvek

Member
Should they do it? No. DID they do it? Yes. Are you saying that you sat in your home all day fuming about the stuff you were missing out on because a ditch was dug behind your car? Are you saying that practical solutions to the immediate problem are of absolutely no concern to you? That's like buying a boat, taking it on the lake and then complaining that the boat shouldn't leak while it sinks around you instead of plugging the hole.
Again, if this is all 100% legal (what they are doing and have done) then so be it. We will have to deal with it and our complaints will land in the complaint box and later tossed (the complaint box is nearly full from my understanding - as are the voice mailboxes).

My situation on Friday was that I had worked Thursday night, returned Friday morning at 0500 - went to bed at 10:00-11:00. Woke up that evening. The crews were gone. My truck & car were in front of a ditch (which used to be my driveway).

Look, I mean, if they have the law on their side to do this - fine (well, not "fine" but you know what I mean..not much I can do about it). I'm just thinking if there was an emergency (I do have children) or any number of other things (out of milk) .... it's more than a little irritating.
 
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