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Red Dirt Roads: Part II

The county says in the next five years those miles of dirt will be paved. This issue goes beyond money. While there are plenty of people living in Leon County who want to keep the dirt roads, there are others who want to see them go away.

The old Bradley’s Country Store is source of a local pride, as a historical landmark and is world famous for its sausage. The Bradley's have been around for decades, long enough to remember a time when red dirt roads were the norm, found everywhere.

Frank Bradley says, "We didn't think it was bad back then because we never traveled on any dirt roads. We only went to Tallahassee when we needed a haircut and to get ice cream. If we saw clouds coming, we had to hurry or the roads might be washed out, impassable."

But that was a long time ago and times have changed. According to Bradley, they've gotten better.

"It's been much better. You can come and go when you want. You're not bothered with clay hills or roads or the dust," adds Frank.

Just miles away by way of old dirt roads from Bradley’s country store, Mary Lackey raises her special horses.

"It's becoming more and more populated and there's more traffic," she says.

Lackey also wants to see her neighborhood's dirt road, Sunray, paved.

"I think specifically it's a safety issue, EMS vehicles, school buses. The road when it rains becomes impassable. We've needed this for a long time," she adds.

And the need or desire for paved roads goes across the border into south Georgia. For more than 50 years, Angela Cromartie has wanted to see her dirt road paved.

"I would like a good road to drive on. I have to take it slow. I've lived here for 50 years and I want to see the road paved,” says Angela.

Back in Leon County, people who want to see paved roads will eventually get their wish. Friday we will hear from the other side of the issue, those folks who say the dirt roads they live off of are a matter beyond money and should be held on to.


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