January 15, 2014

County says ‘no’ to truck traffic on certain roads

Rachel Brown

— Saying certain county roads aren’t equipped to handle tractor-trailers, Whitfield County Board of Commissioners members voted on Tuesday to close some roads to through truck traffic and start enforcing truck prohibitions on others.

With Commissioner Harold Brooker absent, commissioners voted 3-0 to enforce the restrictions on Lower Dug Gap Road (from Dug Gap Road to South Dixie Highway), Curtis Road (from South Dixie Highway to Lavista Road and Suncrest Drive) and Riverbend Road (from Antioch Road to the South Bypass). Commission Chairman Mike Babb usually only votes in the event of a tie.

Public works officials said Lower Dug Gap Road and Curtis Road are already restricted to through truck traffic, but they plan to enhance the signs prohibiting trucks and notify the sheriff’s office of their desire to see the restrictions enforced. Trucks, they said, often get stuck when trying to make sharp turns the roads weren’t designed to handle in those mostly residential areas.

Babb said routing traffic off of Riverbend Road will divert traffic from Antioch Elementary School. While the traffic will then go past Eastbrook Middle School, he said Eastbrook Road is better designed for tractor-trailer traffic with fewer tight turns and hills.

Commissioners also voted 3-0 to close Hemlock Circle in the Forrest Park subdivision, although they said it’s been a “road” in name only. At some point several years ago, the property was declared a road but never cleared and paved, Babb said. The property owner recently asked that the road be formally closed so he can use the land to build at least one house.

In addition to several smaller purchases, commissioners approved spending $200,000 to upgrade the county’s accounting technology. County finance director Alicia Vaughn said the new software will be much more efficient than the older product they were using and will make the budgeting process easier.

County commission meeting agendas and minutes are posted online at www.whitfieldcountyga.com/boc/administration.htm.