Craighead Co. roads in need of help

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Frequent flooding on County Rd. 480 makes it difficult for residents to leave their homes.

Residents have tried fixing the problem themselves, but are now asking for the county's help.

County Rd. 480 is one of more than 100 county roads Craighead County classifies as "grade only." This means County Rd. 480 is one of more than 100 county roads the county does not maintain.

"For a road to be designated as a county road, the roads have to meet those minimum standards that are established by county law," Tony Thomas, the Craighead County judge's assistant, said.

These standards include the street being a certain width and maintaining a certain amount of gravel before the county can intervene. But Thomas said County Rd. 480 never met these standards.

"When roads are brought into the county that don't meet those specifications, it does tie our hands in regard to what we're able to do," Thomas said.

However, the county has provided a new solution to this problem.

"The residents will purchase the tile that's used in the ditch maintenance then the county will come in and dig the ditches, provide installation of those tiles, and then try to get the road up to some standard," Thomas said.

The county also offers a courtesy grade to these public streets, but Thomas said roads like County Rd. 480 need more than gravel.

"It does us no good to come in and put good gravel on a road when it's gonna be washed away in the next rain," Thomas said.

Thomas said that is why the residents need to the buy the tiles.

"Yes, we all pay taxes. We all drive on the current road infrastructure that's in Craighead County. But is that fair for me to use money to take care of that when someone didn't do their due diligence from the beginning?," Thomas said.

Current residents will then have to pay for past residents' mistakes.

"All we ask is they buy the tile and the county is willing to use that tax money that they're putting into the culverts in order to pay for some of those other expenses that are required," Thomas.

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