Keep fighting for safe rural roads

Published 6:17 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Driving on an unfamiliar, rural road at night can be scary.

When the markings on the roads aren’t lit, there aren’t very many signs to make a motorist aware of impending curves.

Other vehicles are also moving quickly, and the last thing a traveler needs to worry about is uneven or rough patches of road.

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The Chambers County Commission has shown its commitment toward the safety of its constituents. 

According to County Engineer Josh Harvill, the county has spent tens of thousands of dollars each year simply striping and marking the county roads, which he said has made a significant improvement for those driving at night.

For those who aren’t from this county and drive primarily on interstates and city roads — I thank the commission.

There have been several nights I have driven from Lanett to LaFayette and back after the sun goes down, and I’m thankful it’s been an easy drive.

The county hasn’t just stopped with simply making sure we can see at night and safely get home or where we need to go.

Harvill also announced Monday night that he has secured a federal grant to improve conditions along two dangerous curves on County Road 83.

The grant is worth $169,828.65 through the High-Risk Rural Roads program and will enhance conditions about 3.6 miles south of Highway 50, just north of the access to the Chambers County Lake.

Those roads will become even busier very soon with traffic heading to the lake.

There’s no reason not to take steps to make that area safer.

There’s a 10 percent match that goes along with this grant from the county, but it’s a small price to pay to obtain almost $170,000.

“This was a competitive program based on safety programs set aside for rural areas where accidents are prevalent,” Harvill said at Monday’s meeting.

He also said rural counties must go to Washington to continue fighting for the program, otherwise it could go away.

“We try to speak loudly,” Harvill said Monday in regards to fighting for the program in Washington.

Keep fighting loudly because I don’t believe there are many things more important than safe roads in the rural areas.