TUSCUMBIA, Ala. – Drive through Tuscumbia and you’ll notice a problem which has been on the minds of city leaders. Cracks in the pavement and pot-holes riddling the roads have gotten to a point something has to be done.
“They’re very bad,” described Tuscumbia Mayor Kerry Underwood. “I don’t know how to compare them to other city’s, but I don’t think there will be anyone who has worse roads than ours when you take it as a whole.”
With less of a tax base then they would like, roads have had to suffer over the last few decades. In a given budget year, $60,000 pretty much only covers fixing potholes.
“I think we have some roads that are fifty years old, and that is way beyond their life expectancy of an asphalt road.”
Mayor Underwood got a recent gift from the Shoals Metropolitan Planning Organization. The group allocates federal money down to the local level for much-needed projects. They have awarded $2.2 million for paving Tuscumbia streets.
“It has to be roads that are frequently used based on traffic counts,” explained Underwood. “So, we are not talking about subdivision roads with this money, but feeder and arteries that move people in-and-out of town. So those will be the roads we’ll start with.”
Ten percent of the roads in Tuscumbia will see new asphalt in the next year. Underwood said they can then begin planning on how to pay for the other 55-miles of city streets.
The city of Tuscumbia will have to match the grant money with 20% of their own funds. Mayor Underwood said they will likely have to get a loan or go to the bond market for the expenditure.