Frustration over never-ending construction project in East Germantown

In the East Germantown neighborhood, a seemingly never-ending construction project has neighbors seeking help.

It's the kind of indignity many homeowners in low-income neighborhoods explain they're forced to deal with all of the time.

Utility repairs are a-fact-of-life in Philly's oldest neighborhoods, where it seems the streets are always torn up.

Homeowners should expect the work to be done in a timely fashion.

If it's not completed, homeowners should not have to deal with the construction equipment and debris left behind.

"Do we have to live like this? Coming out here and seeing this every morning? As a taxpayer?" asked April Rouse.

Rouse can barely contain her frustration.

In the fall of 2017, the Philadelphia Water Department began a long-promised utility project on the 700 block of Woodlawn Street. Rouse was optimistic about the repairs.

"I was saying that we're trying to get something done in the city. Trying to fix up where you live. Trying to keep it clean," said Rouse.

Six months later, the work is still unfinished and the block has become a dumping ground and storage lot for all manner of construction debris…construction equipment and material to be used in the street repairs.

Some is newly dumped. Some has been on location for months.

The hardened mound of cold-patch sitting in the street?

"The inspection people would come out and want to give you for trash," April said, "I would get fined for this."

Philadelphia based Pio Construction is responsible for some of the work.

The project Foreman, Pete, said they've been on hold for a month, waiting for the city to finish its work so they can complete theirs.

April wanted to know why his gear was sitting there, day after day.

"I'm not living like this. And I don't think nobody else should live like this!" Rouse exclaimed.

Moments later, the head man at Pio arrived. Like his Foreman, he did not want to talk on camera.

FOX 29's Bruce Gordon asks, "If you knew the water company couldn't get your job complete, why not get this equipment out of here?"

"You know what…," Pio Construction said.

"That's a simple question, that's a fair question, right?" asked Bruce Gordon.

It's a question April Rouse has been asking for weeks. She suspects it's a question they don't have to ask in Philadelphia's well-to-do neighborhoods.

"It's an eyesore to the city of Philadelphia, being a taxpayer. Trying to keep the area clean and now we have to come out and look at this debris every day," Rouse said. "I'm losing hope and faith in the city of Philadelphia, you know?"

In a statement to FOX 29, the Water Department states Pio Construction did, in fact, face some delays not of their own making. But, this does not exempt them from being responsible for the site

The city has ordered some of the equipment and materials be removed from the block immediately.

Pio says they'll be back at work next week to finish the project.

A Foreman says, "When we're finished cleaning up, you'll never know we'd been here."