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Tuesday's Letters to the editor

November 23, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

Safety first

Dear editor:

This widening at the Mountain Pine Road junction will be a good thing but it certainly could be made into a safer process.

I think I now understand why you can barely read the identification on the trucks belonging to the contractor if they are identified at all -- they don't want any complaint calls.

Up until the lane closures began, I would credit the contractor for efficiency and a smooth process but things have taken a dramatic and unsafe turn. It is now common for the crew to step out into the road and drive machinery across, onto or cross the road without any warning. This morning's experience was not the first but it was the worst thus far. There was no notice for a lane closure ahead. There was only one arrow indicating the closure about 2-3 feet in front of the first barrel which was on or right inside the outside white line of the turn lane which I was in. It only took approximately three to four barrels to close the outside turn lane and about as many more to close two lanes putting all the traffic into the left turn lane no matter which direction one needed to go.

The small box truck in front of me quickly adjusted leaving me right upon the barrels of closed lanes. I simply thought he realized he didn't need to be in the left turn lane like I did. Subsequently, I had to brake immediately because a closed road was directly in front of me and I thought I may be hit from behind.

As stated, this is not the first time I have needed to react extremely quickly to avoid a dangerous situation caused directly by this crew due to lack of signs preparing drivers or a crewperson/machinery stepping or rolling right out in front of me without warning. Because of my experiences, I presume it won't be the last as long as this crew is under its current management. I have not found the announcements for road closures to be given in an updated manner if at all. I hope ArDOT will be more cautious in accepting contracts bids as it is not only about the cost, efficiency and timeline. I hope ArDOT will also consider what safety mechanisms will be used by the companies as part of the agreement when signing future construction contracts.

This intersection is passage for at least six school districts that I know of due to the transport of students to and from schools and back and forth to outsourced programs at the college and Abilities. Please be careful at all times of the day if this is your route as the only safety available in this construction zone is what you are able to provide for yourself.

Safety first, please.

Lynn Hargis

Hot Springs

Construction woes

Dear editor:

The soon-to-be round-about intersection of Albert Pike and Mountain Pine/Thornton Ferry roads is creating a huge bottleneck on Thornton Ferry.

One would think that the ArDOT would adjust the traffic lights to ease the congestion during the construction period or provide some manual traffic control.

In an emergency situation, you are just plain out of luck of getting through quickly. A recent trip to a doctor's appointment took 20 minutes to get on to Albert Pike Road.

Michael Honold

Hot Springs

Print Headline: Tuesday's Letters to the editor

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