Residents say this E. Harris County road's potholes are so bad, no one wants to claim it

Pooja Lodhia Image
Thursday, September 9, 2021
Workers want to know why E. Harris Co. road's potholes aren't fixed
People who frequent Mayo Shell Road in east Harris County have had to agonize driving through a pothole-laden roadway. And they've had to do it for a long time without any fixes. So why is that?

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston is known for many things, and unfortunately, potholes are one of them.

Residents in one neighborhood near Galena Park said there's a road so bad, nobody seems to want to claim it.

You may not have heard of Mayo Shell Road, but if you've ever driven on it, you and your car may still be feeling the aftermath of a bumpy ride.

"In 1996, it was my first day here and the president said, 'Dr. Unruh, we're going to give you an important problem ... to fix Mayo Shell Road because the city won't work on it,'" explained Dr. Larry Unruh, who still works at American Plant Food, which sits right across the troubled street.

"You'd be surprised by how many potential employees don't want to work at a place because they're worried about their car literally falling into a 2.5-foot pothole every morning," added his colleague, Cole Rogers.

Mayo Shell Road is located in one of those in-between places. It's a short road just off the East Loop, where businesses have Galena Park addresses.

Manhole covers say "the city of Houston" but we found out, it's not a part of the city because it's within 2,500 feet of the Houston Ship Channel.

"We're putting the money in. Whose road is it? That's kind of for Houston, Harris County, Galena Park," Rogers said. "They need to figure that out."

Mayo Shell Road is actually part of the Houston Industrial District, a type of limited annexation that divides up authority to different agencies.

For those who work nearby, the designation means dodging responsibility and potholes.

"This is 'no man's land' if you want to call it that," added Unruh. "We're at an impasse."

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