Cocke County road needs major repairs because of loggers, officials say

COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) A Cocke County road is in need of some major repairs, and it's because a logging company has destroyed it, a county official says.

Phillips Road isn't much more than a mile long, and it's clear to see that it was once a packed gravel road. But as the road winds up the hill, its condition begins to deteriorate quickly.

"People can't get through here in small cars," Kenneth Ford said.

Ford is the Cocke County Highway Superintendent, and he said the road wasn't in the condition it's in until a company came in and started logging trees in the area within the past few months.

The loaded trucks have been using Phillips Road, and Ford said they've destroyed it.

"These roads aren't designed for that kind of weight," Ford said.

The road now has potholes and ruts that Cocke County resident Ricky McGaha said were never there before the loggers came in.

"It used to be a real decent gravel road," McGaha said. "But now it's a muddy mess from one end to the other."

Ford said he hasn't been able to get in contact with the logging company to try to reach some sort of a compromise. He said a permit for logging isn't required in Cocke County, so the only way he could find out who is logging is by sitting and waiting for them to come to work.

Ford estimated it would cost between eight and 10 thousand dollars to make the necessary repairs.

"I don't want them to stop logging. But when they do stuff like costs the tax payers of the county to try and fix it back," Ford said.

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