Swallow Hill Road condition angers Scott residents
It appears as though drivers who regularly travel Swallow Hill Road in Scott Township have had enough, as several residents were at the Scott commissioners’ March 12 agenda meeting to ask the board when they were going to fix the heavily traveled road.
Vito Cedro travels Swallow Hill Road every day from his home on Crosswinds; he called the road “a disgrace to the township.” “It’s a mess,” he said. “And every year, it gets worse.”
Scott resident Rita Manski, a school bus driver, said that the road is so bad that when buses are traveling on it, some of the elementary children bounce out of their seats.
Manski said the conditions on the road have gotten to the point where flyers about the road are circulating around the community. She gave the board a flyer she found that asked: “Do you think that Swallow Hill Road needs to be replaced?” along with information about attending the Scott agenda meeting.
Cedro asked the board what they planned to do about the road, to which board President Tom Castello replied that patching it was not the answer. Castello, who also travels the road daily, said the estimate to fix Swallow Hill is $1.5 million, money the township does not have on hand. He said the plan is to package Swallow Hill repairs with other roads and raise bond money to repair Swallow Hill and Kane Boulevard, and potentially the portion of Swallow Hill that goes to the middle school.
Second ward Commissioner Bill Wells, whose ward includes Swallow Hill Road, said, “This time next year we’ll have a new road.”
Cedro asked what the township was spending on road improvement annually, and was told that approximately $400,000 was budgeted each year.
Cedro commented that township taxes were low enough that the board should consider an increase for road improvements.
“I don’t care if you raise my taxes $250 a year,” said Cedro. “It’s worth it if I don’t have to pay for a front end alignment.”
Wells said the township should be floating a bond in June or July, and the construction work would take about four to five months.
Manski asked the board to consider the timing of the project. She said Swallow Hill is a main road to St. Clair Hospital, and with the apartments, housing and shopping in the area, there is a lot of traffic on the road. She suggested that the board try to have most of the construction done during “pool season,” when school is out and traffic is reduced.