Jackson’s roads are falling apart

The city has little money to fix them.

And the state seems willing to let them rot.

One-hundred and fifty miles of roadway in the capital city are in desperate need of repaving, including 30 miles on the Northside. But the city only has enough money in its 2011-12 fiscal year budget to overlay 4.81 miles.

In Ward One, the amount being spent won’t pay for enough asphalt to cover a street as long as the one-mile walking track at Parham Bridges Park. No Northside streets are being repaved in Ward Seven.

In all, more than $50 million will be needed to smooth over Jackson’s streets. Finding the money is a challenge for the city with a dwindling tax base and hundreds of millions of dollars in looming water and sewer system needs. Add to that the fact that Jackson is home to thousands of tax-exempt state-owned facilities that generate no revenue for the city, but still require services such as fire and police protection.