Residents in northern part of county want blacktop roads


Citizens living in the northern part of the county presented a petition to county supervisors last week asking for help with deteriorating road conditions.

Residents living northeast of Camden told supervisors that conditions on roads such as Putnam Road and Free Union Road are horrible and work needs to happen soon. They asked for the gravel roads to be turned into blacktop roads.

“All we’re asking for is a blacktop road,” Joe Earl Evans of Rimmer Road said. “There’s gravel all in the ditches. All we want is a blacktop road. See, everyone else has nice roads and we don’t have anything but gravel. Get rid of the gravel.” 

Gary Springer, who lives on Putnam Road, echoed Evans’ sentiments about the issues with the gravel.

“We have made complaints in the past before. We’ve been complaining for years and there’s been no response,” Springer said. “The roads have gotten worse and worse and they are not being maintained. They have to be updated, and what’s happened in the past is not working. The roads absolutely need to be blacktopped. These routes are where we have to travel, especially people who drive things like garbage trucks and school busses.”

The main complaints were the unsafe travel conditions of the gravel roads and how the number of residents on that route are very scarce.

“Get the rocks out of the ditch. These roads stretch for miles and miles and there’s very few houses. People should have a decent road to travel,” Springer said. 

“I see many roads in this city that are blacktop. Why are your roads blacktop but ours are still gravel? Why can’t we have it too? I’m gonna be at this meeting until there’s a decision about these roads being fixed.” 

“Madison is a big county, and District 5 is in need of a lot of things that South Madison also needs,” said Paul Griffin, supervisor of District 5. “The gravel roads are difficult to maintain from the rain, as there’s a lot of bad spots. We’re planning on moving the rocks out of the ditches and back onto the road once the rain clears out and we have a few dry days. The way I see it, the road is in pretty good condition for being a rock road.”

Griffin said the board is aware of the people wanting the roads paved, and there are plans to do it, but not right now. 

“What I do know is that the day is coming but we don’t know the exact date yet,” he said. “We can do more than one thing at a time and we’re doing exactly that — building parks, bridges, and more.”

Griffin said even though the gravel roads won’t be paved right away, the local residents know where to go and how to travel on these roads safely. 

“Everyone needs a decent road to travel on,” he said. “All the local people know how to get home and just need to watch carefully for any messed up parts of the road.”

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