Heartland's rocky roads: Broken asphalt led to the sinking of Dickinson garbage truckTire tracks cut through yards in Heartland Village in south Dickinson because that’s the only way to drive a vehicle home, residents say.
Tire tracks cut through yards in Heartland Village in south Dickinson because that’s the only way to drive a vehicle home, residents say.
Repairs are underway, but the roads in the mobile home park are in such disrepair that a city garbage truck sank in and got stuck last week, officials said.
Numerous residents have reported vehicles being stuck in the middle of the roads, several of which have ruts, cracks and holes — some a foot deep.
Keith Kress, general counsel for Heartland Village, said Heartland understands the frustrations of residents and is doing what it can to remedy the problem.
“This really happened overnight … it was a big surprise to us,” he said. “We understand our residents being inconvenienced and it’s not something that we’re proud of, but it’s something that you know, we don’t have any control over.
“And we addressed it as fast as we possibly can in order to make sure that we get this fixed.”
Monger said the roads have been impassible for two weeks.
“It is such a hazard and not only that, they are charging everybody an arm and a leg around here,” said Brooke Monger, who has lived there since August.
She and others are fed up.
“People are pissed that their grass is getting ruined but people are also understanding that there is no other option,” she said.
Guillermo Avaro, Chief Financial Officer of Heartland Village, said there is “no need to drive over anybody’s yard,” if motorists follow signage.
“We closed the affected area and we did some detours,” he said. “If they respect the speed limit that we have in the park and they use the detours that we have for them, they shouldn’t have any problems.”
However, the detour for motorists traveling south on Southview Avenue earlier this week went to A Street, which is impassible by car.
“If you don’t think your car can make it through the affected areas, then just don’t drive through it,” Kress said.
There was no way to avoid the crumbling roads to get to Monger’s residence until one lane was opened on Southview Avenue.
“I’m sorry, but when we leave at 4:30 a.m. and we have little children, we’re not going to be walking in the dark in the cold,” Monger said. “The oil boom is up here and there’s so many different people up here that you just can’t trust anybody now.”
City Administrator Shawn Kessel worries about fire trucks and ambulances driving there.
“That’s our biggest concern, obviously, is that emergency services be provided to those people who might be in need,” he said. “Certainly we’re very concerned about fire response. Those trucks tend to be as heavy or heavier than our waste trucks, so it could hamper any type of fire response in the area.”
The Dickinson Police Department is taking precautions to protect its vehicles.
“Until roadwork gets done, we are not recommending that anybody goes down there in a squad car,” said Capt. David Wilkie. “We do have a couple of SUVs.”
Kessel said fixing the roads is not the city’s responsibility, but city officials have been in contact with Heartland and have asked them to address the problem.
“It’s a private development with private infrastructure, private streets, but I would hesitate to say that there’s nothing we can do,” he said. “I think there’s obviously a great deal of influence we can have to get emergency services down there.”
Monger’s husband put new tires on his truck three weeks ago and now has to replace one. She said a piece of asphalt from a Heartland road punctured it. She wants Heartland to replace the tire.
“Our No. 1 focus right now is to get the roads fixed and then figure out how to proceed from there,” Kress said.