March 1st , 2013 10:27 am Leave a comment

Sheriff: Drivers skirting barricades a safety concern

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After his officers wrote nearly two dozen tickets in February to motorists disregarding construction barriers set up on Gap Creek Road, Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes appealed to drivers to stay off the closed roadway.

Photo by Brandon HicksMathes said heavy machinery poses a danger for motorists disobeying the barriers on Gap Creek Road.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
Mathes said heavy construction machinery poses a danger for motorists disobeying the barriers on Gap Creek Road.

“It’s dangerous for the construction workers and for the drivers for them to be driving through an active construction zone,” Mathes said Thursday. “One of the heavy equipment operators told me last week that he almost swung the bucket of a backhoe into a car’s windshield that had driven around the barricades.”

Gap Creek Road between Tester and Dry Creek roads was closed last month in preparation for a widening project undertaken by the state. State Department of Transportation officials estimate it will be closed for at least a year through the duration of construction.

Since the beginning of February, Mathes said 18 criminal summonses have been issued to drivers who moved the closure signs, hoping for a shortcut.

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