Ongoing San Benito Roadway Repair Projects Spark Controversy

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SAN BENITO – A street rehab project is stirring up controversy in San Benito.

Last year, CHANNEL 5 NEWS reported on the road conditions people who live there endured.

Some repairs are underway, but people there say they want more.

Potholes are not the only problem. Residents around Whalen and Shafer roads say they need their streets to be resurfaced and leveled out.

While Shafer Road is getting a makeover, Whalen Road will have to temporarily stay in the shape it is in.

Wayne Blackburn has called the city home for 18 years. 

“We’re getting Shafer now fixed, and it’s been a long time coming," he says. 

As far as Whalen Road, Blackburn said, “they’re calling that San Benito’s amusement park." 

"It’s like a rollercoaster. It’s funny, but then again, it’s not. Whalen has been in this condition, but getting worse for 25 years, and that is simply unacceptable," he says. 

San Benito Public Relations Director Martha McClain responds to the problem with the following statement, which reads in part:

“Funding for the work is and continues to be, the issue. Whalen Road is one of many streets in need of attention. City administration is currently working on several proposals to raise the funds to cover the cost of more street repairs within the city. Two separate proposals were presented at recent city commission meetings and are being evaluated here.”

“It’s just another excuse," Blackburn says. 

The future Whalen Road project would include a new drainage system to provide adequate water runoff.

The work on Shafer Road started mid-January. It is a major project that reconstructs the entire street, including the installation of a new drainage system and concrete curbing. 

The final stage is adding a two-inch layer of asphalt.

McClain says the work should be finished in at least a week.


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