Residents ask city to clean Polk Avenue
The Fairfield City Council received a petition from a group of residents who want the city to fix the dust on West Polk Avenue.
The petition was signed by five people, all of whom live on West Polk between Second and Third streets. Joan Raman, one of the signatories, addressed the council at its meeting Monday. Raman said the dust on the street is so bad she doesn’t even want to open her windows.
“We really want something done,” she said. “I said, ‘Could you just lay down oil?’”
Raman said the response she received from the city was that it would not lay down oil once a month as she requested.
The petition states Polk Avenue was “no more than an alley” and “little more than a stone driveway full of potholes.”
The petition states the signatories are happy the city has fixed the potholes in recent years, although they are unhappy about the amount of dust on top of the loose gravel on the street.
The signatories wrote in the petition the north row of homeowners cannot open their south facing windows in dry weather because of the dust, and likewise the south row of homeowners cannot open their north facing windows.
“All siding and screens are full of this insidious dust,” the petition stated.
Mayor Ed Malloy explained the road on Polk Avenue consists of layers of lime chips separated by layers of oil.
“It’s designed so that as a car or truck drives over it, it will be embedded into the oil and then become a low-tech asphalt,” he said. “For a time, the dust will go away. As it does, it will become dusty.”
Raman said the street is “nothing but dust.” She said it is only not dusty for a day after it rains.
Fairfield public works director Darrel Bisgard said Polk Avenue was resurfaced last year, so it is not scheduled to be resurfaced for three more years.
Councilor Daryn Hamilton said it normally takes two years for a chip-and-seal surface coat to become embedded in the road.
“Those smaller pea gravel pieces work themselves into the oil,” he said. “If traffic levels are higher than normal, it can happen sooner. With a low-volume roadway, it doesn’t happen as soon, and Polk is a low-volume street. It will probably take through this summer for all the chips to work in.”
Malloy said the city would call its contractor to find out if an excessive amount of rock was laid on Polk Avenue.