Cumming Residents Work to Fix Dangerous Gravel Road

CUMMING, Iowa --  A group of neighbors living along a dirt road South of Cumming say a recent "upgrade" has left them with a dangerous drive home, especially after a rainfall.

“We’ve seen cars in the ditch. Even my 4-wheel-drive truck slides when it gets muddy like that,” said Kelly Hintzen who lives in the Polo Pointe development South of Highway G-14 in Cumming.  Hintzen says even with a light rain, the ground softens and deep tracks are easily made, making it difficult to navigate.  She's even seen a garbage truck stuck in the middle of the road.

Hintzen says neither Warren or Madison County officials are doing anything about the problems.  “We basically get very little response, if any,” said Hintzen.

On Thursday crews from Madison county were adding more gravel to the road. Hintzen says this is done every couple of weeks but it provides only temporary relief.  Hintzen is worried that a permanent fix won’t come until someone is seriously hurt.

“That is my concern. I have a daughter that is 22 who drives on this road everyday and I worry about her all the time,” said Hintzen.  

Some neighbors want a paved road installed.  John Krantz has lived in Cumming for 40 years and he know’s better than to get his hopes too high for a paved road.

“We have heard the paving rumors ever since we moved out here. But it never happens. They’ve had meetings with county guys and they just don’t seem to take it very seriously,” said Krantz.  

The road is on the border of Madison and Warren counties. While most of the road is Warren County both sides previously agreed it’s Madison County's responsibility to maintain it.  Warren County Engineer David Carroll says there is not much his department can do.  He says Madison County started the project without first getting approval from Warren County.

“Warren County did not authorize or approve the stabilization project along 10th Avenue south of County Highway G14. For project specific questions or comments, please contact Madison County,” said Carroll via an email.  Carroll insists they won’t pay.

 Hintzen says she doesn’t care who’s responsible for the mistake as long as it gets fixed.

“Both counties probably share responsibility. Madison Co. is getting all of the tax revenue from this side of the road, where we live. I think they have a bigger responsibility to fix it. The counties need to work together and come up with a solution before someone is killed on this very dangerous road,” said Hintzen.

We attempted to contact the engineer for Madison Co. for comment and he was unavailable. We drove to their office Thursday afternoon and we were told no one would be available to talk with us today. The office administrator directed us to the Madison Co. Board of Supervisor for comment. We did just that and no response was given by them either.