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Grand Bay neighbors' persistence gets dirt road nightmare resolved

WPMI Mobile logo WPMI Mobile 10/21/2021 Andrea Ramey

For more than a decade people living on Grand Farms Road West have been trying to get their dirt road maintained by the county. This week they finally got their wish, and many credit one tenacious woman, who spent years cutting through red tape to make it happen.

Over the years, Angie Goudreault became known as “the dirt road lady” from Grand Bay.

“I’ll wear it. I earned it,” said Goudreault.

It’s because she would not stop bugging county leaders and workers to do something about her wretched Grand Farms West Road, what was a private dirt road that was so bumpy emergency vehicles couldn’t get down it.

“My husband died of a heart attack in my bedroom. We called the ambulance and they wouldn't come down here. They wanted me to pick him up and bring him to the end of the road. Now it can't get any worse than that,” said Connie Barclay.

Goudreault and others were able to petition the county to get it to fix ruts and maintain it. Work started this week. Along the way they had to navigate through federal grants to get the utilities moved. A complex process Goudreault credits county commissioners and state lawmakers with helping her along the way.

“She has spent so much time and money. Even when she was sick. I mean, they put roadblocks in front of her and she just jumped over them,” said Barclay.

“I couldn't be more pumped. I couldn't be more pleased if it was Santa Claus coming. It's wonderful,” said Mary Long. “She's worked wonders on it.”

A community grateful for Goudreault’s unrelenting persistence.

“Prayers and persistence, very much so,” said Goudreault.

A spokesperson for Mobile County sent us this statement regarding the process;

“Through a process established by the Dirt Road Act of 1987, the residents of Grand Farms Road West petitioned Mobile County to accept it into County maintenance inventory. A former District 3 Commissioner agreed to fund the design and construction of the roadway improvements. Utilities relocation cannot be funded by the County, so, in this particular instance, the citizens sought and acquired Community Development Block Grant funds for utilities relocation. Stringent criteria had to be met both for Mobile County to accept the road into its inventory and for the residents to obtain the grant funding. This soon-to-begin roadwork is the culmination of more than an decade of effort.”

There are other roads that are in bad shape in the neighborhood also, but the project only includes Grand Farms Rd West.

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