A Hummel Report Investigation
From one man’s plea for the Department of Transportation to fix a problem it created in Smithfield, and the continued fallout for a politician that was bending the rules - to a stunning transformation of a junkyard that a year ago was nearly impassable: This week Jim Hummel has an update on several of his investigations that are getting results in communities across Rhode Island.
As we round the corner heading into the homestretch of 2016 we have new information on a handful of our investigations - beginning with the Great Mailbox Saga in Smithfield and one man’s attempt to get the attention of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation.
Polseno: ``It’s aggravating. And you can’t get through to nobody. And they laugh at you. Aaaaahhh!”
Smithfield business owner Tony Polseno leaves no doubt about his frustration over the mailboxes we found lining Pleasant View Avenue, in various states of destruction.
Polseno told us in March he had tried in vain to get the Department of Transportation not only to fix them but come up with a new design to spare the mailboxes from snow plows that had taken his and others down repeatedly since they went up as part of a road reconstruction nearly six years ago.
DOT Director Peter Alviti saw our story and ordered his department to come up with a solution.
Alviti: ``Peter Alviti…’’
Polseno: ``Peter Alviti, oh yeah, we’ve heard a lot about you.’’
And there he was earlier this month, The Director making good on his promise by personally visiting Polseno at his nursery on Route 116 after the new mailboxes were installed. Polseno gave Alviti a tour of his property and walked down to the new mailbox.
The DOT is in the final stages of replacing a total of 112 mailboxes. Engineers decided to move the posts back another six inches from the road.
Polseno told Alviti he thinks it’s not enough and that they have to go back further.
Alviti: ``The space between here and here has to be enough for a wheelchair to go by.’’
Polseno: ``Let ‘em go on the other side.’’