The "Temporary" Street Fix That Won't Go Away

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More than 15 months ago,

we wrote

about how the street in front of the

Houston Press

building, in the 1600 block of Milam, was home to one of the loudest, cheapest jerry-rigged street repairs around -- a bunch of steel plates laid over some defective narrow drains in the bus and turn lane.

The newly installed "trench drains" had almost immediately proven to be not up to the job of carrying the traffic, so every so often a bus or large truck would give us a nice booming noise as it cruised over the metal plates.

It was Metro who put the drains in as part of the massive rehab project for downtown streets, but now they're the city's problem.

The city told us 15 months ago the metal plates, which had been in place for six months or so, were only a temporary solution until replacement parts came.

Fifteen months later, nothing's changed.

"We are working on a fix as we write and have been trying to find the right part since we discussed it last summer/fall," says Alvin Wright of the Public Works Department.

Trying to find the right part? Don't they have catalogs or something?

"The issue surrounds making a fix for all the trench drains for the entire area as well as trying to find the best fit for the fix that is fiscally sound," he says, from his office well out of earshot of the booms.

Not to worry, though: "I should have a more definite answer on when the work will start within the next few weeks," he says.

Ooookay. In a few more weeks, there may be a "definite answer" to when the work will eventually start to fix this problem that's been hanging on for almost two years.

We're reassured.

-- Richard Connelly

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