Elderly couple battles city, rail company over crumbling road in Aurora

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Kelley Perkins has spent months trying to get someone to fix the road to her parent's house in Aurora. (WLS)

In the middle of a bureaucratic battle to get a local road repaired in Aurora is an elderly couple in their 70s, who struggle to get in and out of their home because of a crumbling road conditions.

Huge chunks of asphalt stick up from the road. Huge potholes make driving across the stretch a risky proposition. City crews won't plow it in the winter. Garbage trucks won't cross it, and the mail carrier has to drive around it.

"We're just kind of stuck in the middle," said Kelley Perkin's whose parents have trouble getting some basic services.

Perkins has spent months trying to get someone to fix it. She has piles of correspondence from the city, the state and Burlington Northern Railroad which owns the tracks.

"We had to call the ambulance for my mom a couple months back and they weren't able to come down the unpaved drive so they had to turn around it it took more time for them to get here," Perkins said.

The problem? It is not entirely clear whose job it is to fix it.

A city spokesperson said in a statement "While we empathize with the homeowners, the damaged private access driveway abuts a state-owned road and runs over Burlington Northern Railroad right-of-way. The city owns none of the property involved."

Meanwhile, Perkin's parents are left without an answer. They have lived on the property about four decades, but in the last few years the entry road has become practically impassable.

"I hope there's a solution," said Perkin's father Renato Flaim. "I don't know what to do no more."

A railroad spokesperson issued a statement saying "The law requires the railroad to maintain the crossing to two feet outside the rail. The approach to a crossing, in general, is maintained by the owner of the roadway or private driveway. In this case, the user of the private driveway is responsible for the maintenance of the driveway surface and the approach up to two feet from the rail. BNSF is sympathetic to the homeowners and is open to meeting with them and the city to ensure a crossing is available to them."

City leaders said they are also working on it.

The local alderman said the city is still investigating and hopes to come up with a solution.

The residents are hoping that happens.
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