Summer storms strike hard on Nassau County infrastructure

yulee nassau county roads
County roads are having a tough time holding up.

Development, climate change and lack of resources or timely upkeep all factor into deteriorating infrastructure. Everyday weather shouldn’t cause roadways to become impassable, yet that’s the situation. 

“Bear with us on the rain,” Nassau County Commissioner Thomas Ford said at the last Commission meeting. “Dirt roads — the graders are working overtime, and we appreciate it very much.”

Ford and Commissioner Klynt Farmer both represent western Nassau districts that have a rural road infrastructure more typical of what used to cover Nassau County decades before the latest development explosion from Interstate 95 east to the Amelia River.

Farmer opened his remarks by thanking the county Road and Bridge Department, along with Road and Bridge Director Cameron Hansen and Public Works Director Douglas Podiak.

“These inclement weather patterns that we’re seeing, obviously it’s not new for us,” Farmer said. “We’re gaining up on the peak of hurricane season — we all talked about it in an email today that there’s some tropic activity out there. I hope that it steers out into the Atlantic, and gets away from us, but it’s something to be aware of.”

Earlier in the meeting, a Callahan resident complained about the rutted and continually flooded condition of River Road near her house. The road is scheduled for reworking in 2024, though it may be moved up if circumstances allow. Regardless, infrastructure problems caused by the usual summer rains are across the county.

“The afternoon weather patterns, we can grade a road and three hours later it’s in worse shape than it was before it was graded,” Farmer said. “So, I’d like to thank the fine men and women over there who are going out of their way to help us out or work overtime, or whatever the calls may require, to ensure that our citizens are able to get back into their homes.” 

It definitely gets Commissioners’ attention when residents make their case in person to the Commission, Chairman Jeff Gray said.

“I’d also like to thank David Hearn, (the) Assistant Director of the Road and Bridge Department, and the boots on the ground, the employees that have been working so hard during these rains,” Gray said. “In District 3, like all y’all’s districts as well, these rains are causing a lot of problems for our roadways, and our team is doing a heck of a job.”

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook:


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