Brevard County-area roads crumbling as heavy rains continue

By Greg Pallone, Brevard County Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, June 19, 2017, 4:22 PM EDT

About two weeks of daily rain is taking its toll on Brevard County roads that are already in need of repair.

  • 2 weeks of steady rain has hurt already-damaged roadways
  • Brevard County ID's 589 miles of county roads that need work
  • Roadway issues are becoming a challenge cities, as well

Brevard County officials have identified 589 miles of county roads that need to be resurfaced and 145 miles that need to be reconstructed

The roadway issues are a challenge for the county's municipalities, as well.

Beat up roadways are hard to avoid if you're driving along Babcock Street in Melbourne. Broken areas of roadway and potholes are common, and the heavy rains are not helping as pieces of asphalt crumble as vehicles pass over.

"They come out to fix it, but it comes back," said Nathaniel Ashton, who lives in Melbourne. He said he does his best to avoid the damaged roadways.

"Your car can get out of line, tires rotated more often," he said. "A lot more wear and tear on your car."

Melbourne is similar to other cities in the county: strapped for cash that it can devote to road maintenance.

"Let's keep things resurfaced before they reach a point they need to be rebuilt," Melbourne City Manager Mike McNees said. "The conditions of the roads are looked at every year. It's about prioritizing and putting money where it needs to go first, and we are doing a reasonable job of keeping the city road network up."

Melbourne city leaders are two years into a millage rate increase and devoting the property tax money to road repairs. It costs about $120,000 to resurface one mile of roadway compared to repairing that mile at a cost of about $650,000.

McNees said many roads crossing through the cities are owned by the county or the state. Brevard County is also trying to keep up with repairs. Officials said they need to resurface at least 55 miles of roadway each year to prevent a backlog.

The next fiscal year begins Oct. 1, and county leaders plan on tripling the amount of money to resurface roads. The road maintenance budget could be about $4 million. Officials plan to increase the money by cutting other services and not raising taxes.