Infrastructure matters to pothole dodgers

Published 8:14 pm Friday, July 14, 2017

There are likely many of you who’ve uttered a few unkind words after hitting a pothole — or dodging one — while traveling roads in Brookhaven and Lincoln County.

While Brookhaven has invested in its streets, there are still places that are rough on a vehicle’s suspension. But Brookhaven has nothing on our state’s capital when it comes to roads.

After exploring the city’s Fondren District recently, I couldn’t help but wonder what Jackson city leaders have been doing with tax dollars in recent years. They certainly haven’t spent it on road maintenance.

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It’s hard to emphasize just how bad these roads are. We regularly had to slow to a crawl to navigate busy streets or dodge vehicles that were swerving into our lane to miss potholes. It was like driving through a bomb-riddled landscape.

If you’ve just driven up I-55 and hit the major shopping destinations, you’ve likely missed out on the adventure that Jackson’s roads present. I’ve driven better dirt roads than this.

I’m obviously not the only one to notice the problem. A Jackson resident turned a massive pothole into a hot tub in hopes of getting the city’s attention.

The hole in the road was 8 feet deep, according to media reports.

“I was out going to a friend’s house in this area and passed by this and was just astonished at the size of the hole and just thought I would come by and check it out and take a dip in it,” he told a Jackson TV station. “Yea people thought it was funny, but I mean people are fed up with it as well. We all just want a solution so badly that I think people have just started to make jokes about it.”

The pothole hot tub was in the same Fondren area I recently visited.

Jackson’s pothole problem is so bad, there’s a Twitter account, @jacksonpotholes, that logs visitor complaints and other info about holes in the streets. There are even attorneys that specialize in pothole lawsuits in Jackson.

Sure, Jackson has more serious problems to tackle. Crime and unemployment immediately come to mind. But infrastructure matters, too. It’s hard to visit our capital city and leave with a positive impression after having your teeth rattled out from driving on bad roads. I can imagine there are hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors who have spent plenty of money to fix tires, wheels and suspension parts after hitting one of these behemoths.

Aside from that, these streets are bad enough to be dangerous. In just one afternoon of driving through Fondren, we had to dodge at least two cars traveling in our lane to avoid potholes. I imagine Jackson drivers do this on a daily basis, sometimes unsuccessfully.

These roads are an embarrassment to Jackson, its residents and the entire state. The capital city deserves better.

Publisher Luke Horton can be reached at