Region 8 residents upset with condition of county roads

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT) - Residents who live along Old Military Road, Pleasant Grove Lane and Senteny Road in Harrisburg told Region 8 News they are upset with the way their roads are being maintained. According to Sue Teague, who lives on Senteny Road, the county uses a mixture of red clay and gravel to repair roads when they wash out from heavy rain.

"The gravel that they bring out is a little bit of gravel and a whole lot of red clay, which doesn't work out here," said Teague.

According to Teague, her husband recommended to the county that it install culvers along the road. She said her husband worked for the National Guard and his job was to build roads.

"I realize that there are so many gravel roads in Poinsett County and I understand that, but not all roads in Poinsett County are up here," said Teague.

Teague and several others Region 8 News talked to Thursday said they'd like to see the area paved.

"It's becoming a lot worse. I think it's a lack of maintenance on the road," said Teague.

There are more than 1,300 miles of county roads in Poinsett County. The county is also in charge of ditches 30 feet from the center of the road.

When asked what areas of the county are most problematic, Tommy Freeman said, "Old Military, Senteny, Pleasant Grove, and then I've got some over around Trumann." Freeman heads up the Poinsett County Road Department.

Freeman said his office hasn't been able to obtain dry material to repair roads that have been washed out.

"We done pretty good up until today. We grated some roads that were too wet and now they're all too wet," said Freeman.

Freeman said the county has also been cutting back expenses. The county employs 17 people, 8 of whom are certified to run graders.

"We're just scattered out and manpower," said Freeman.

Thursday, Freeman and his crew were repairing a bridge on Desmond Lake Road in Lepanto. The bridge is old and in desperate need of repair.

"The runners on it were busted up and splitting, and we have to replace it and we have one runner underneath it we're going to have to replace," said Freeman.

Teague said she understood the county road department is short on money; however, she'd still like to see the county do more in her area.

"When we have a hard rain. They were out, so therefore you have very little space to drive in between," said Teague. "When I had to go to Jonesboro the other day and when I came upon that, I had to get over in the bushes which scratched the side of my car."

Teague said her granddaughter rides the school bus down to her house every weekday. One person Region 8 News spoke with off-camera said she saw a bus nearly tip over because the wheels started entering the ditch.

"If someone had gotten off in that, they would have been there. A wrecker would have had to come to get them out," said Teague. "You don't want to see any child get hurt and to meet a school bus on this road. The way it was the other day, there's no way."

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