Video: How Bad Are Mississippi’s Roads?
WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI)- Pot holes, patches, and cracks are just some of the hazards that irritate West Point resident Eric Johnson when he hits the road.
“To me, they’re real bad. Your axle tears up all the time,” said Johnson.
And he’s tired of playing dodge ball with his car.
“I ride up and down the road and I go down main street, I got 10 different pot holes I’m going to hit and I’m trying to dodge pot holes. Looks like I’m driving drunk. You know, police might stop me for a DUI, you know what I mean,” Johnson said jokingly.
William Byrd also thinks the State’s roads need a little TLC.
“They make them out of asphalt and when they fix a pothole it doesn’t last long. Within a month or so, the hole is back again. They just fixed one on main street and right after they repaved it they had to go back and cut a section of it so, they’re constantly tearing up even the new stuff they put down,” said Byrd.
A new report shows Mississippi is $250 million short of keeping state roads up to standards. Marty Wiseman, President of MSU’s Stennis Institute of Government, says lawmakers face tough decisions on possible tax increases.
“We’re going to have to revisit and probably revamp an old way of taxation in order to have the money available and the theory is when you tax gas for roads, you are taxing those who use the roads, so we’ve got good research folks in the legislature and I’m sure they know they’re going to have to take a hard look at that,” said Wiseman.
And if it means not wrecking his car, then Eric’s okay with it.
“If they’re going to do something about it then yeah! But if they’re just going to get the money and we don’t know where it’s going then no. We as taxpayers, need to know where all our money is going,” said Johnson.
The report also says that without the funding changes, half of the state’s highways will be in poor condition in 20 years. A study committee will make a recommendation to the legislature in January.