The road situation in Huntsville - off of 565 and the Parkway - is pretty sad. It speaks volumes (to me at least) that the city is so willing to approve new developments all over the place, and put in the infrastructure (or let contractors do it in 'hoods), but seems to view road maintenance as an afterthought in existing 'hoods and retail development areas. Drive ANYWHERE in Huntsville to see it. All through Hampton ...more »
The road situation in Huntsville - off of 565 and the Parkway - is pretty sad. It speaks volumes (to me at least) that the city is so willing to approve new developments all over the place, and put in the infrastructure (or let contractors do it in 'hoods), but seems to view road maintenance as an afterthought in existing 'hoods and retail development areas.
Drive ANYWHERE in Huntsville to see it. All through Hampton Cove - nice 'hood, some roads almost need a 4x4. Go across Garth behind Target - one big patch after another. There are some roads that are just one patch to another, and I have YET (in about 8 years) been on a patch that was smooth, had a smooth transition from old to new, or lasted very long.
I was recently in the Sunnyvale, Cupertino, etc area of CA. And I drove miles and miles and miles - and there are a LOT more cars there than here - and every road I was on was smooth. That had a lot to do with the fact that the road was obviously installed correctly, with a high standard, so it wasn't breaking apart. Even when there were patches, they were done well.
There is no excuse for the situation as it is. We don't have bad winters with lots of freezing and thawing (go to Detroit to see what that does to roads). All I can chalk it up to are low installation standards (or poor inspections of the work), then abysmal patching work. An engineer in town who works for one of the main foundation/ground engineering companies in town told me that the standard for crossings over ditches and streams is written in such a way as to NOT require compacting of the backfill before the asphalt is laid. That explains why so many crossings of those things are sunken on both ends and why they eventually have to get patched. One I can think of right now that has been patched twice in the last year is on Old Big Cove, heading south, right before the Cecil Ashburn Light. pitiful.
Look at the big patch on top of Cecil Ashburn - people literally drive around it in the shoulder. Three or four years ago the strip of the Eastern Bypass from 431 to the first light was repaved. It was so incredibly bad, it was like a rippling sea of asphalt. People had to drive around it (in the other lane) to keep their cars on the road b/c the jolting was so bad. A week later they came back to fix it and made it about 1/2 better. NOW, that road all the way out to the Robert Trent Jones golf course is horrible - the entire way. What a way to introduce people to that area. The entire road in that section needs to be ground down and repaved - patching is not good enough. That road area is 55mph and it is simply not safe in its condition. Look at the back road into the Jones Valley shopping center - it is pitiful, pitiful!
Huntsville needs to stop building new areas until they can implement a plan to actually maintain what currently exists. Build a new retail development around here, and half the occupants come from an old place and leave 10s of 1000s of sqft of space empty. Come on, that isn't growth, that's shuffling - and leaving a bunch of abandoned buildings all over is horrible. As those buildings remain empty, and the roads around them are horrible, it just makes huge sections of the city look terrible.