Tim Schnabel is a retired marriage and family therapist from Walton County.

Driving on smooth roads and highways is akin to being on a commercial flight without turbulence. The trip is peaceful, enjoyable and we arrive at our destination far more relaxed than we would otherwise.

On Nov. 3, we in Walton County will vote on whether to increase our sales tax an additional 1% for five years, generating $60 million for the Walton County Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or T-SPLOST, program.

This will be used for road maintenance and construction in all cities in the county. My reaction has been, “I am not so sure!”

I am clear, though, that I vigorously object to throwing good money after multiple inferior road repairs and resurfacings, especially in and around Monroe. What guarantee do we taxpayers have that we will not have more of the same? Currently, we don’t!

If you live here in Monroe perhaps you are like me and have memorized where potholes continue to exist or where they have been poorly repaired with ruts or humps? Either way, my vehicle and I sure feel it when I forget. In addition to potholes and road deterioration, there are the multiple manhole covers that feel about the same.

Where is the excellence and pride in performing quality results that are actually smooth? Guess it’s good enough for government work!

Road resurfacing in Monroe is a bad joke. Never smooth! Mostly it is like driving on lumpy oatmeal. A blatant example is the resurfacing of Wayne Street between Spring Street and Highland Avenue. As one of my coaches used to say, “It’s like putting deodorant over dried sweat! You still stink!”

The resurfacing of North Broad Street from Marable Street to U.S. 78 was a rush job completed during the day, resulting in more oatmeal. It was a smooth major road badly in need of repair and resurface. The result is mediocre.

When the resurfacing of Highway 78 was performed, it was done at night with competence and excellent efficiency. It is enjoyable to drive on it. When the repaving of Georgia 138 from Charlotte Rowell Boulevard to the intersection of West Spring Street took place, it was during the day, rushed with the result anything but smooth.

The best example of horrible resurfacing is the section of Spring Street from La Fiesta Restaurant to George Walton Academy once the sidewalk was constructed. It is atrocious, ugly and an insult. The same of the patching of a utility line installed across Georgia 11 at Friendship Church Road.

When I am driving north toward Winder, I use the go-around avoiding being assaulted by one of the worst utility repair jobs I have ever experienced.

There are exceptions such as the resurfacing of Stewart Road outside of Monroe off Youth-Jersey Road. It is a suburb job. The resurfacing of Wall Road from Edmondson Road to Mountain Creek Church Road is superior. And there are examples of a few well-done pothole repairs. But these are the exceptions, not the gold standard.

If we need motivation to purchase an all-terrain vehicle, simply drive on South Madison from the intersection of Davis Road toward the jail.

I understand new sewer lines are being installed and it is not an easy job. However, the road was in severely poor repair prior to the commencement of this project, Now, meandering over and around the mounds is like hearing the booming voice of the boxing announcer, Michael Buffer as he introduces the fighters, “Let’s get ready to rumble!”

If our politicians don’t have higher expectations and outcomes for the way our roads feel and look, by hiring the same incompetents to perform the same inferior outcomes, then I will vote thumbs down to continue such a travesty. But if we citizens can be reassured from our county commissioners, council members, city managers and mayors that our money will produce superior results, only then will I vote for the additional sales tax.

(1) comment

foodforthought

We have large tractor trailers moving at high rates of speed in and around curves on Bold Springs Road. Yet highway 11 runs parallel. When will the large trucks use the highway 11 again ?

We have people walking, bicycles riding in groups and people on horses.

Use the right roads for semi's to travel. Highway 11.

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