Rural roads need fixing

By Steve Flowers, Guest Columnist

Last week we talked about the importance that roads are to the economic development of our state.  We spoke about urban growth and expansion, especially the needs for highways in Huntsville and the improvement of the Port in Mobile.

Well, I overlooked the needs and importance of our rural roads.  Make no doubt about it, our rural roads need fixing too.  A good many of the rural bridges in the state have been condemned and are hazardous for heavy trucks and school buses to travel.  Many folks figure it would be cheaper to pay more for gasoline than it is to pay for having their frontends aligned and tires balanced every few weeks from hitting potholes in the road.

Some of our farm to market roads have not been fixed since Big Jim Folsom built them in the 1950’s. Big Jim left an indelible legacy as governor with his legendary and necessary Farm to Market program.

There are a good many stories and memories of Ole Big Jim surrounding his legend as a Farm to market Road and bridges builder.  One of those stories comes out of Scottsboro and Jackson County in the northeast corner of Alabama.  It is one of the prettiest parts of Alabama, especially in the Fall.

One of Big Jim’s favorite political friends was Representative John Snodgrass of Scottsboro. Big Jim loved John Snodgrass.  The feeling was mutual.  Big Jim decided to build a bridge and name it after his buddy.  He didn’t just build a little bridge, he built a big bridge over the Tennessee River.  The problem was they built the bridge where there was no road.  Folk’s in Scottsboro marveled at the fact that the bridge they longed for was built without a road leading up to it.

See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.
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