Bayou George Residents Encounter Problems with Dirt Roads

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BAYOU GEORGE - Bayou George residents are meeting with Bay County officials to talk about the issues that they're having with dirt roads.

One of those is that school buses aren't able to get down the roads because some are in bad condition.

The long dirt path known as Everly Street is one of many private roads in Bay County. It's also the same road that Andrea Griffin walks almost every day to get her kids on the bus.

"That's a long walk. I mean i don't know if you can see it, but it's a long walk for my kids to have to do. Somebody could pick them up and i wouldn't even know," said Griffin.

Griffin says the road conditions are so bad she makes her children wear old shoes to the bus stop.

"You see, these are already muddy and dirty. I don't even let them wear their good shoes because they can't. It's that bad," said Griffin.

The long walk frustrates parents like Griffin, but Bay District Transportation officials say the roads are just too bad to risk the trips.

"It is a long distance for some of them to walk but i can't put another 30 to 40 kids in jeopardy of the bus turning over or having an accident to go down those roads," said Robert Downin, Director of Transportation for Bay District Schools.

Parents tell NewsChannel 7 it's turned into a daily routine for them to walk their children up and down the road to get to the school bus, but they say there's a bigger problem at hand.

The owner not taking on the responsibility to maintain these roads out here," said Tamra Pettis, a Bayou George resident.

Since these roads are privately owned, county officials say there's not much they can do. They say the owner could hand them over to the county, but would first have to bring them up to the county's standards.

NewsChannel 7 did reach out to the owner of some of the private roads, Gabe Stewart of Panama Pines, and he declined our interview request.


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