MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- James Gill, 70, a retired railroad worker and longtime resident of Clay County, is concerned about the condition of Mallard Road.
"You can see where the erosion is washing the bank on the side of the road," said Gill.
It is a two-lane road used by all types of vehicles, including school buses and the road shoulders, in some areas, are extremely narrow.
"There's no side rails there, no banks, no shoulders," said Gill.
Gill said his concern are the buses and their precious cargo.
"I don't want to see a bus load of kids dead in that creek. It is just waiting to happen," said Gill. "It is just an accident waiting to happen."
Gill has lived in the community 35 years. He said he's not trying to be an alarmist. He said he's looking out for the other guy.
"I just don't want to see something happen," he said.
The road is old and does not meet today's road standards, and that is the problem according to county engineers.
"The road is as safe as it always has been," said Jeff Beck.
Beck is Clay County director of public works. He has reviewed the condition of Mallard Road and said improvements are on the way.
"We look for opportunities to make improvements," said Beck.
Beck said the county plans to address the concerns echoed by James Gill, and the other residents who share his concerns.
"We're gonna hire a consultant to do a study on the drainage and make sure it is is OK," said Beck, "We'll replace the culvert, put 22-to-24 feet of pavement some wider shoulders, possibly higher head walls and guardrails at that time."
Until the improvements are completed, Beck said it is up to the drivers to obey the speed limits. He has installed reflectors in the area for night driving.
"We will move it along as fast as I can," said Beck. "We always make safety a top priority."
Beck said the work should be ready to improve the road in six to nine months.
First Coast News