Fort Worth Blames Developers for Shoddy Streets

City demands developers pay for street repairs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCDFW
    The streets in four newer neighborhoods need extensive repairs because developers did not build them properly, the city claims in a series of lawsuits.

    The streets in four newer North Fort Worth neighborhoods are falling apart and need extensive repairs because developers did not build them properly, the city claims in a series of lawsuits.

    The condition of the streets has become something of a joke among homeowners.

    Lawsuit Over Potholes

    [DFW] Lawsuit Over Potholes
    The streets in four newer neighborhoods need extensive repairs because developers did not build them properly, the city claims in a series of lawsuits. (Published Wednesday, Apr 14, 2010)

    "Well, there's no need for speed bumps when there's this many potholes," said Chuck Sherrill, who moved into the Trace Ridge neighborhood about 10 years ago.

    City Councilman Sal Espino, who represents North Fort Worth, said the city wants the developers to pay for repairing the streets.

    "Premature street failures are a serious issue in the city of Fort Worth," he said. "These residents in our city who have moved into brand new homes deserve roads that will last 15, 20 years instead of breaking up after three years, four years."

    The neighborhoods involved include Arcadia Park, Trace Ridge, Crawford Farms and the Heights of Park Vista, also known as Tarrant Park Vista.

    The unusual lawsuits, which have been filed over the past three years, name the developers and numerous contractors involved in the street construction.

    This week, the Fort Worth City Council approved paying thousands of dollars to a private law firm to continue the legal proceedings.  The first of several trials is set for July.

    Espino said experts hired by the city determined the trenches under the streets were improperly constructed.

    "In these new subdivisions, when you don't build a trench right, the road collapses," he said.

    Deputy City Attorney Gerald Pruitt said building standards call for construction crews to fill trenches with a small amount of dirt and then tamp it down before putting more dirt on top of it.

    The city's investigation found that in these subdivisions, contractors filled the trenches with a large pile of dirt at once without properly compacting it, he said.

    A spokeswoman for home builder giant D.L. Horton, the developer of Trace Ridge, released a short written statement saying the company disagrees with the allegations in the city's lawsuit and is defending itself.

    Talmage Boston, an attorney for another developer, Arcadia Park, said city inspectors examined the streets at least once a month during construction and approved the work before the developers paid the contractor.

    "All the streets at issue were built in accordance with the city's standards," Boston said. "It is our belief that the lawsuit brought by the city is without merit."

    The contractor, Site Concrete Inc., of Grand Prairie, did not respond to requests for comment.