Taking action for residents along Franklin County Road 40

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PHIL CAMPBELL, Ala. (WHNT) - A group of Franklin County residents, almost 150 of them in fact, tell us a road they use is literally getting smaller and smaller. School buses, 18-wheelers and, of course, residents of that area in their personal cars all try to use the narrow roadway, and some say they're afraid.

County Road 40 near Phil Campbell is just a small country road, used by dozens of families, a few school buses and a local trucking company.

"It's a very dangerous road," said longtime resident Sue Smith.

Dangerous because it's literally shrinking! The county engineer confirms the trucks that use the road hug the edge, which breaks up the pavement from the outside  in. It means as the old asphalt breaks away, the road becomes even narrower. There are already several places where your right side wheels drop off the pavement, and some places where you literally have to leave the road when you meet another vehicle.

"It's in bad shape, has been for over two years," Smith said.

There's one place where the road narrows so suddenly, if you dodged this you'd be driving down the middle of the roadway. There are other places where the dirt is washing away now that the pavement is gone, resulting in ruts more than a half-foot deep. Smith says the road simply has not been maintained. In fact, she says most of the work that's been done on this roadway in the last few years has been done by people who live and work along through here. They'll get out and make repairs, patch potholes and even try to widen the road themselves. She says the county hasn't been out here to do anything in years.

"Well, they put a little bit of tar on it and sprinkled gravel on it I guess about four or five years ago and that's the first time anything had been done to it for probably 15 years," Smith says.

Smith and a few friends canvassed the entire area and got 146 signatures on petitions asking that something be done about the road. Turns out County Engineer David Palmer is well aware of the problem and has already prepared estimates for widening and repaving the road. He says the county is already in the process of applying for special funding in order to make it happen. There's no word on how soon the county will be able to begin work, but Palmer promises to keep us up to date on the project, and of course, we'll gladly pass that information along.

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