Smith County residents worry about road costs after being denied request

Smith County residents worry about road costs after being denied request

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - It's been a bumpy road for some residents in Smith County; they claim their subdivision developers have left them with the potholes to fill on their own dime.
Residents add that the county is bound by law not to help.

There is a section off of County Road 1346 that isn't very solid, as it's covered with potholes, loose rocks, and large indentions that residents say have punctured tires.

"It's knocked oil pans off, busted tires, and not only that, it makes it to where it is all downhill and this whole yard will flood out every time it rains. It will just wash out all that down here," Smith County resident Richard Garner says.

Rodney Smiley says he has lived on the road for more than 20 years; he says each year, more asphalt deteriorates, leaving homeowners to spend thousands out of their own pocket. Smiley sent an application to the Smith County Road and Bridge Department, begging commissioners to add County Road 1346 to the maintenance system, but the request was denied.

The denied request form says that County Road 1346's right-of way-is only 50 feet and the minimum requirement is 60 feet. It also says the pavement is not up to subdivision requirements. 

Smiley says the county told him that the property owners would have to bring the road up to code before they would even consider inspecting it again.

"They're just in very poor shape, just doing a spot repair is not going to fix it. They need total reconstruction, before those roads could be acceptable for the county," Smith County Road and Bridge Department engineer Frank Davis says.

But this road isn't the only road in the county with issues. In fact, it's reached a point where the commissioners inserted language last month into their subdivision regulations that developers are encouraged to let homeowners know their road may not become part of the county road system.

"I think it's just basically going and buying the products that are required to do it which could be several thousand dollars in getting the equipment in here, so we have no idea how to even begin that process," Smiley says. 

That means that residents are left to foot the bill left to them by the developer.

Frank Davis says state law prohibits the county from taking over a road before it meets the correct standard.