A Wise County woman who lives on the Denton County line near Ponder said she’ll continue to speak up, until some much-needed repairs are made to the road on which she lives. A costly run-in with a pothole is her motivation.
People who travel North County Line Rd., which separates Denton and Wise counties near Ponder, said the condition of the road concerns them the most. Asphalt is crumbling, and there are potholes at seemingly every turn.
"People stop and only use one side of the road to pass each other," said Natasha Bejar, who lives on the Wise County side with her husband and their six children. "Because it's so riddled with potholes."
The Bejar's moved there in August. It took just one day for her to find out how bad the road was.
"I've hit potholes before," she said. "But I didn't know it could break an axle."
The one she hit did. She said it was dark, and she couldn't avoid it on her first day in town. A mechanic told her the axle cracked upon impact. The repair bill, she said, was $2,500.
Bejar began complaining to Denton County officials. She said that resulted in the road being patched several times. Driving down that road on Tuesday, it's apparent some of the repairs haven't worked.
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And she's not the only one to complain.
"The other residents have actually given up on getting the road fixed," she said.
On Tuesday, Bejar decided to hit the road herself. She drove to Denton, where she addressed members of Denton County Commissioners Court. Though the road serves as the line between two counties, Denton County maintains it.
"If the road to the courthouse was as riddled with potholes as my road," she told them. "We would have figured something out already."
Bejar has been in contact with the office of Dianne Edmondson, Precinct 4 Commissioner. Edmondson told NBC 5 she became aware of just how bad the road conditions were shortly before she took office, at the start of the year.
"We've been aware for some time that those issues need to be addressed,” said Edmondson.
Denton County has hired an engineer to rank its worst roads. The survey will consider all 250 miles of county-run roads in Precinct 4. Fixing them, said Edmondson, is easier said than done.
"There's no way we have enough funds, time and good weather to redo every road that might need it," she said. "So we'll do the very best we can."
Edmondson has invited Bejar to sit in when engineers present their findings to commissioners, likely in April or May. Bejar said many large trucks use the road, part of which is dirt. She suggests user fees be taken to pay for road repairs. But Edmondson said those fees are collected by the state, and not accessible to the county.
Bejar said she will not stop pushing for repairs, until they’re made.
"I still want to get my road fixed," she said. "So I want to be the squeaky wheel that gets the oil."