Study: Mississippi Roads Cost Taxpayers In Repairs

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(DeSoto County, MS) It wasn't too many years ago that some of DeSoto County's major roads turned into dirt trails.

They're all paved now, but a road study group says other parts of the state have some serious issues.

Tammy Heidrich says when roads get bad, repairs on her van get a little pricey.

"Honestly, when you gotta pay $200 for a tire, it’s a little expensive."

Now, the National Transportation Research Group says she’s not alone.

The group says road problems cause Mississippi motorists an extra $1.5 billion every year in repairs and car accidents.

What about DeSoto County? Road Manager Andy Swims says DeSoto looks pretty good by comparison to the rest of the state/

"I see some of the roads in other parts of the state and I think they do need some work, but I think we do a pretty good job with ours. Ours look pretty good.”

He credits a constant maintenance program, along with spotters who stay on the lookout for problem spots.

He says even the recent ice storm didn’t do near as much damage as it could have.

"Freeze-then-thaw cycles will always have some degree of impact, but I think this year, so far, it hasn’t been too substantial.”

How do authors of the study plan to pay for better roads? They want to raise Mississippi’s gas tax which already totals more than 18 cents a gallon.

Heidrich says she actually wouldn’t mind a gas tax hike, saying it’s cheaper than car repairs.

Besides, she says her roads seem in pretty good shape.

"In general, I think in DeSoto County they’re really quite good, except for one pothole that’s on Highway 51.”

And guess what? The pothole on Highway 51 has already been all patched up.