Local News

Local 24 Political Analyst & Commentator Otis Sanford On Road Maintenance Changes In Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - For many years Memphis road maintenance has been milking millions of dollars from taxpayers. Under an agreement, TDOT did not have sole responsibility for upkeep on state-highways in the city. But that is about to change. Local 24 political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shares his point of view.

No doubt very few Memphis motorists realize that many of the roads they traverse daily belong to the state and not the city. So, most residents probably won’t care that the city is ending its maintenance of those roads and turning the work back over to the state. Unless of course, the job does not get done.

Starting July 1st, the city is ending a contract that has been in place decades, that made picking up trash, cutting grass, and weeds and repairing potholes on state routes inside Memphis, the city’s responsibility.

We’re talking about such familiar thoroughfares are Union, Poplar, and Lamar Avenues, Walnut Grove and Getwell Roads, and Crump Boulevard. Officials say the contract paid the city about $1.5 million a year for the upkeep. But the work was costing city taxpayers about $2.5 million. Something is very wrong with that picture.

The larger question is, why did it take the city so long to end this money-losing proposition? And now that the agreement is going away, let’s hope state road crews don’t neglect the maintenance and allow these heavily-traveled roads and avenues to become littered with trash or speckled with potholes.

I have no reason to think that will happen. But when government bureaucracy is involved, things sometime have a way of falling through the cracks. Let’s hope this is not one of those times.


Latest News