Why won't they fix my road?

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -  For nearly two weeks since heavy rains soaked much of East Texas, residents on the south side of Tanya Drive in Smith County have not been getting their mail in their mailboxes.  It seems it may be that way for a while.

"It had some places that needed repairing, but nothing like it is, now," said Wanda Janczycki.

Janczycki said she and her neighbors were left with huge cracks and breaks in the pavement - a foot deep in some places - once the water finally receded.  They have also had no mail service for nearly two weeks.  Janczycki said she called the post office and was told delivery had to stop due to the horrible road conditions.

She said she has lived in her Smith County home for nearly 10 years and has contacted the county multiple times about the problem.

"They said it needs to be brought up to speed," she said.  "It was up to speed at one time. You can see, we've got curbs and all that, but nobody has maintained it the whole time.  Somebody needs to fix it."

But, who?

Doug Nicholson, road administrator with Smith County Road and Bridge, said County Road 1233 - the north side of Tanya Drive - is, in fact, maintained by the county.  But, not the south side where Janczycki lives.  Nicholson said he doesn't know why the one side is now a county road and the other is not.

Nicholson explained that, occasionally, if roads, or subdivision streets were not built to the county's standards, or not completed, the county would not take those roads into its inventory.

Nicholson said Janczycki's road is just one of several roads within the county, that are technically, not county roads.

"Unless it's in the county maintenance system, we can't legally work on it," said Nicholson.

Janczycki has already paid for and spread gravel in rough parts, herself.

We found the original land survey for Janczycki's road, which was supposed to be part of the "Hughey Addition."  The addition was not completed according to the plans which were finished in 1982, long before Janczycki moved in.  The surveyor is now deceased. We could not locate the developer.

The road department said county residents in similar predicaments do have an opportunity to request their roads be taken into the county's inventory, provided the roads pass initial inspections.

As for the mail, the postal service sent out inspectors, but said until the road is fixed, Janczycki and her neighbors will have to continue driving to the MLK branch to pick up their mail.

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