Limited funds leave Jackson County road buckled, sunken in

Limited funds leave Jackson County road buckled, sunken in

JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - A Jackson County road has been sitting in pieces for months while residents are left stranded. County Commissioners say they do not have the money to fix it and disaster aid money is slow coming into the County.

County Road 17 in Skyline has been closed since late-February, and it seems it will be closed for months to come.

“We pay our taxes. We expect it to be taken care of," explained a frustrated Jack Beaty. "That’s what it’s paid for.”

Major rainfall in late-February left much of Jackson County underwater including CO-17.

“There is a lot more damage than the naked eye sees," explained Jackson County Commission Chairman Tim Guffey. "There’s about a stream about 40-50 feet below where the damage is so we want to go in there and correct it the way it needs to be done.”

The major concerns for residents are medical emergencies, money and time.

Cody Ivey has lived in Skyline much of his life. He is worried if he calls 911, they won’t get to him. “It’s life or death situation. Like I said, I have scoliosis real bad and if I fall, it’s bad," said Ivey.

Jack Beaty has lived on the mountain for three years. He says a trip into Scottsboro usually take 20 minutes. The detour setup now takes him 45 minutes to an hour.

“I know a lot of people feel like nothing is being done but we have to do that to make sure we fix this problem correctly," said Chairman Guffey.

The County has hired a team to perform geological tests on the roadway. Disaster aid funding - federal and state - have been slow coming in, which has made the process longer.

County Road 17 is not the only “mountain slide” project county leaders face. In total, there is $6 million in projects on the table. Disaster funds only cover roughly $4 million, leaving the county to scrape up another $2 million.

Guffey says with the tests wrapping soon, they will begin sending bids out within the next couple of weeks. Though, he’s not sure yet where they will get their portion of the money.

“We all live in these communities," expressed Chairman Guffey. "So it affects all of us in some form or fashion. I just ask everybody to be patient and realize that we have limited funds and that we’re doing everything we can with those limited funds.”

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