A family’s backyard has turned into a landmine full of broken glass, after a construction crew finished a town job.
The town of Coventry hired New England Infrastructure, based out of Hudson, Mass., to rehab a bridge that connects Columbia to Coventry.
The crew worked on the project from April through December of last year, and had set up shop right in Andrea Lee’s backyard.
As the project wore on, crews continued to encroach on her property.
“They needed more room for their materials, they were running out of space for stuff,” Lee said.
She said she was fine with that because through the noise, the mess, and the overall hardships on her newborns, she banked on the promise of a rehabbed yard.
“The way they talked to me, was like my backyard would be a dream come true,” Lee said. “That I would get clean, screened topsoil, they would fill in all this grass, and they were going to smooth out all the lips. I would have none of this stuff.”
But when crews left seven months later, they did pave a new driveway, give her $5,000 for a fence, and dropped the topsoil as promised.
Almost immediately, Lee started finding big chunks of glass in the topsoil that was supposedly screened.
“This is just the glass that I picked up. There’s plastics, all throughout it. Garbage, cigarette butts, everything is all throughout the soil,” Lee said.
She said after each rain, she’d find several more pieces.
“I could slide around my backyard, I didn’t have to worry about glass, none of that. Now, there’s glass, I’m finding it everywhere,” she said.
Coventry town officials said the New England Infrastructure got the topsoil from Windham Materials, who said they test every thousand yards of their topsoil, and they have a two-screen process to make sure nothing gets in the mix.
“If it’s something in the topsoil that’s bigger than half an inch, it wasn’t in our topsoil,” said Windham Materials Director Harold Hopkins.
New England Infrastructure did not answer any calls made by Eyewitness News.
Coventry’s town engineer sent a letter to the company, demanding the job is done right and it is withholding payment until it is.
For Lee and her two 18-month-old boys, it is another summer ruined.
“I really hope they do the right thing and they take the topsoil out and do what they promised me all along, from the beginning,” Lee said.
Coventry said if this doesn’t get resolved by August, they may hire another company to fix the problem while dealing with New England Infrastructure separately.
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