Historic Houston neighborhood sits in crater-filled construction limbo

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Residents near Sabine and Decatur say the problems are starting to pile up after road construction hit major delays. (KTRK)

Construction delays have left one of the city's oldest neighborhoods looking like a crater-filled war zone, according to residents.

It's in the historic Sixth Ward near Sabine and Decatur where the problems are piling up. The street is impassable, leaving people to park blocks away as they try to navigate through the now unpaved road.

Parts of it are blocked by signs and construction barrier fencing.

"I almost broke my neck over here in the mud the other day trying to get to the house," Patt Hecker said.

Hecker owns a home on Sabine and said she had to knock down some of the orange temporary construction fence so she could get inside her house.

Paul Easterwood lives nearby. He said the project has been discussed for more than a decade and he didn't believe it would ever happen.

"I don't think most of these people would have wanted to renew if they'd known how long it was going to be, and how bad it was going to be," he said.

The project was designed by the city and the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone to remove the historic bricks lining the street, replace drainage pipes and re-lay the brick.

But after work started a couple months back and seemed to be going well, it all came to a halt more than three weeks ago.

"There's been no one here going on four weeks. They just abandoned the project," Hecker said. "We can't get cars in, no ambulances in, people aren't getting mail. It's just ridiculous."

The city public works department said the problem boils down to a permitting issue. The project is a partnership with the TIRZ, and the contractor hired did not have the right permits, so they were forced to stop, representatives said.

Work can begin once the correct permits are issued, but no timeline for completion is currently available.
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