Dozens of families have permanent homes along Shady View Lane and Scenic Point Drive. With access to public boat ramps, anyone can use these back roads but travel at your own risk of tearing up your vehicle.
Floyd Leonard wants help from the county in maintaining the back roads. On Scenic Point Lane, he drives slowly and carefully trying to avoid ruts on the road.
“You got to go so slow it’s like riding a roller coaster. These ruts, they’re so deep, it’ll tear your suspension up on your vehicle,” Leonard said.
When 5-year-old Alena had a seizure last March her grandmother, Tonya Sharp, was alarmed and took matters into her own hands. Knowing the treacherous condition of the lane leading to her home, Alena was put into Tonya’s 4-wheel drive car and was rushed to the hospital.
“We had to take her out of here because I knew there was no way an ambulance could get down here. The road is way too bad,” Sharp said.
“It’s a disaster. I had to buy a 4-wheel drive just so I can get down here,” said another resident, Tim Thomas.
When Thomas moved into his home on Scenic Point Lane a few years ago, he inquired about the road.
“I asked the realtor who takes care of the roads. He said Campbell County comes down here, grades it every 2 or 3 months,” Thomas said.
Recently, residents say the county hasn’t been doing much grading.
Concerned for his neighbors and his own family, Leonard, a former construction worker, helps keep the road up. He owns a bobcat with a scoop on it.
“We got together here, we buy gravel and stockpile it up there. I, more or less, maintain the road myself,” Leonard said.
Evie and Danny Holcomb told WATE it’s been over a year since Campbell County’s road department either graded or laid any gravel on their back lanes. Danny pointed to a hole that would likely damage any emergency vehicle.
“You fall in the gullies right here. It’s like rock-and-roll all the way down. What you experience at the top of the hill, we experience coming up and down this one,” Evie said.
What really upset people is when the post office stopped door-to-door mail delivery because of the roads.
“Just recently, a couple of months ago, they decided they were no longer going to do mail service. So, they made everybody move their mailboxes to the top of the hill,” Denise Leonard said.
Danny Holcomb said after he and his neighbors met with the Campbell County Commission last summer they were hopeful some positive action would be taken to improve their roads.
“They have told us so many different things, they are just stalling us,” Sharp said.
The county’s highway department tells WATE that because the roads are private lanes, it’s not responsible for maintaining them. An answer that doesn’t satisfy residents.
“We pay county taxes the same as everyone else. We want things to be better for everyone here,” Sharp said.
The Campbell County Commission discussed the issue of whether it should or should not maintain Shady View Lane and Scenic View Lane on Monday. No decision was made, but it will likely come up at the next commission meeting.