News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2007

Fresh paint stripes on a pothole on Country Club Road Southeast.
Daily photo by Brennan Smith
Fresh paint stripes on a pothole on Country Club Road Southeast.

Rough riding
in the River City

Potholes aplenty on Country Club Road

By Catherine Godbey 340-2441

In the late 19th century Theodore Roosevelt led a cavalry regiment called the Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War. More than 100 years later, a modern group of rough riders exists in Decatur.

The current rough riders aren't members of the cavalry, but motorists who drive on Country Club Road Southeast.

On this 1.3-mile stretch, drivers navigate around more than 40 street indentations, including potholes and sections where the city laid patches of tar and failed to smooth the pavement.

Some residents of Country Club Road feel street renovation is far overdue.

"It has been a long time since Country Club has been repaved," said resident Robin Barrett. "The street could stand to have some work done."

District 2 City Councilman David Bolding, who represents the Country Club Road residents, understands their complaints and takes responsibility for the road conditions.

"There have been no roads paved in the current City Council's term," Bolding said. "We have ignored the streets and are to blame."

With Mark Petersohn, the city's engineering and public works director, working on a proposed road-paving priority list, Bolding and his constituents will soon know more about the fate of the damaged road.

Petersohn has said he expects to complete the list by Friday. It will be subject to approval by the council.

Bolding believes improvements to Country Club Road are necessary due to its high volume of traffic and status as a main arterial road.

Connecting Alabama 67 to downtown Decatur via Somerville Road Southeast, Country Club Road serves as a way into Decatur from the highway. The road also represents an alternate route from the downtown area to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, allowing refuge visitors to bypass U.S. 31 and part of Alabama 67.

Even though Bolding describes Country Club Road as a main road in his district, he is realistic about the number of streets the city can repair with the funding available.

"The roads are not very attractive right now, and our bad streets are outnumbering our good streets," Bolding said. "There are so many streets that need repairing, we won't be able to do them all."

With the number of roads in need of repair increasing, residents are getting used to driving around potholes.

"There are some potholes on it (Country Club Road)," resident Dale Trammell said, "but it's not any worse than any of the other streets in Decatur."

Reporting potholes

  • Mayor Don Kyle advises residents to contact the Public Works Department to report streets in need of immediate repair. Public Works will inspect the complaint and, if it is deemed justified, add the street to a repair list.

  • Public Works phone number: 341-4740.

    - Catherine Godbey

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