Sunday, November 29, 2015

Will the Bad Roads in Montgomery be Re-Paved?
By Ashley Thompson

Will the bad roads in your neighborhood be paved anytime soon? Well, that may depend on which district you live in.
The city has about seven million dollars to pave bad roads but that money isn't being disbursed evenly.

Each road in Montgomery was rated a few years back-- good, fair or poor. So, if you're street is not considered poor, chances are it's not getting paved soon.

When Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange took office, his administration identified 115 miles of poorly-rated roads. Since that time, many streets have been paved but there are still some that need attention.

"We're down to about 56 miles of poorly rated streets that we've rated three years ago," he says. 

The city has seven million dollars to address those 56 miles. Only roads rated "poor" will get paved. But some say the rating system isn't working.

"It makes me feel, not angry, but displeased with how they're handling it," says Montgomery resident Robert Bruce.

Bruce lives on Harmony Street and tells us roads in his neighborhood are terrible.

"It was popping, it was rough," he says. "Every time someone went to stop at the stop sign, you'd know when they left because they hit a hole before they'd run out into the road."

Still, Harmony Street, which is in Councilman David Burkette's district, wasn't rated poor, it was rated fair. Burkette tells us although he is getting some money to pave bad roads, he isn't getting as much as other councilmen.

"It's extremely frustrating," he says. "I was frustrated the other night to listen that district 7 and district 2 was worse off than district 4."

There are two districts that are receiving the brunt of the seven million, Councilman Tracy Larkin in district 3 and Councilman Arch Lee in district 7.

"The money was not borrowed to be spent between all the districts equally," says Lee.

He tells us it's only fair that the money go to districts with the most poorly-rated roads.

"A, because we're the older parts of the city," he explains. "B, because our soil is a lot different than out east. We've got a lot worse roads than folks do on the east side."

Though Burkette says the rating system can't be trusted.

"Some of the ones that they cast as being poorly rated, they're not as bad as some of the ones they're saying fair."

And Strange says he's aware that some roads have become worse but says right now they are not the priority.

"One of the issues was, well they were poorly-rated three years ago and others have come to that. Well, that's true but we started out with 115 and now we're trying to get that to zero."

Paving costs about 100 thousand dollars per mile.