BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — When it rains, it pours— that’s the case for some Bay County residents living on Steelfield Road.
Residents said the road is damaging their vehicles, causing expensive repairs and they do not have a choice. Steelfield Road is the only way in or out of their community.
“It’s horrible, especially when it rains… it completely floods,” resident Nancy Berthold said.
Berthold has been a resident of the Bunker community since 2006. She said this is her second truck since moving there.
“Very rutted, they need drainage out here, they need to dig the ditches, they need proper road maintenance,” she said.
Berthold and her neighbors said Steelfield Road gets ruts every Thursday.
“When I called and complained, finally it’s been a couple of months ago that I called and complained and they told me that we are on the docket to get this section of Steelfield paved, but it’ll be two years, maybe three,” she said.
Until then, the temporary repairs aren’t enough.
“Every time we get weather like this between the flooding and the potholes and the wash boarding, this gets impassable,” resident Eric Akins said.
Akins is concerned about school buses, emergency vehicles and logging trucks traveling this way most times going at high speeds.
He also said he cannot get a straight answer on the paving status.
“We don’t pay property taxes in Bay County, but we are all residents that shop and work and do their work in Bay County, so they are still getting tax money out of us,” Akins said. “So we hope that they would address that and realize the huge increase in the amount of traffic— and address it soon.”
Bay County Chief of Infrastructure Keith Bryant gave News 13 a statement about Steelfield Road:
“This roadway was identified post-Hurricane Michael as potentially eligible for paving via the federal reimbursement process, which can be long and arduous. We do anticipate that project to begin within the next 180 days.”
“Everyone in the community will be grateful for it, and we won’t have to spend money replacing tires and maintenance on our vehicles,” Berthold said.
Residents mentioned they have heard the county’s 180-day timeline for years. County officials said the federal grant and reimbursement is a lengthy process that causes delays.