Call it a "pot ditch" or a "pot pond."

But don't call it a "pot hole," because that minimizes the threat to lives and property in the 26th and 27th blocks of Bonnie Brae Street.

"Somebody could die," resident Mark Stewart told the Natrona County Commission on Tuesday.

"It's so bad," Stewart said.

For example, a 911 call resulted in an ambulance not being able to get to an address and the driver had to find another way, Stewart said.

For more than a decade, he and other area residents have complained about the rough spot -- now covered in water -- that now poses a direct danger to them.

"It's literally ruining our trucks and vehicles," Stewart said.

Mark Stewart. Tom Morton, Townsquare Media
Mark Stewart. Tom Morton, Townsquare Media

One effort to fix the problem involved backfilling the hole with chunks of concrete that wrecked the front end of his daughter's vehicle, he said. He and his wife Zabrina removed the concrete because of that, she said.

The Post Office will not deliver mail on that part of the road because of the hazards posed to trucks and carriers, Zabrina said.

The City of Casper had been picking up trash along Bonnie Brae but stopped because of the hole, so residents had to hire a private trash collector, she added.

Commissioner Dallas Laird asked, "is that hole dangerous?"

To which Natrona County Road and Bridge Superintendent Mike Haigler responded, "oh yeah."

Haigler joined the Stewarts at the lectern.

Manholes are exposed and a high-pressure natural gas line runs under the road, he said.

A culvert underneath the road has collapsed, too, Haigler said.

But nobody knows for sure because the hole morphed into a brown pond.

As Stewart said, this is bad.

But no simple good solution exists, because the jurisdiction of the area is as muddy as the road.

The road is in Natrona County, but the City of Casper runs a water line to the area.

Haigler said that section of Bonnie Brae is a subdivision road and not the responsibility of either the county or the city, but rather that of the people who live there.

Speaking of water, drainage from the city's nearby Municipal Golf Course causes most of the damage, he said.

Commission Chairman Steve Freel said that's one reason why people are pointing fingers at each other.

The city probably will annex that part of Allendale, but that could be a while, Freel said.

That doesn't solve the problem now.

Stewart suggested he and his neighbors could pitch in because they have earthmoving equipment.

But Freel said that kind of help, while a good gesture, can pose a liability risk.

He intends to meet with Casper City Manager to figure out a solution, he said.

However, commissioner Jim Milne took the Devil's advocate role by saying that if the county helps with Bonnie Brae, those who live on Renauna and other dirt roads west of Salt Creek Highway will want help for their roads, too.

Laird responded that he's been there and the roads in the Heights east of Salt Creek Highway, and acknowledges their needs.

But Bonnie Brae Street is different, he said.

"This is extremely dangerous," Laird said.

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