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Safety, Signs,School Buses, & 18-Wheelrs on Old Dermott Road Issues Presented to Quorum Court

August 23rd, 2012 by

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ordinance Passed to Prohibit Use of Old Dermott Road by Log and Commercial Trucks;
County Votes to Allow Purchases Made from Select Concrete Company
Feb. 21, 2012

The Quorum Court voted unanimously to pass an ordinance prohibiting both log and other commercial big trucks from traveling on Old Dermott Road. With an ordinance now in place, anyone in violation of the ordinance will be able to be ticketed and fined.

There is an exemption in the ordinance that allows for loggers living or owning timber on the road to use it without legal consequences.

The Court also voted to pass an ordinance allowing the County to purchase road and construction supplies, as well as trucking services, from Select Concrete Company, LLC. The ordinance is required due to a Code that states it is prohibited for county officials to directly or indirectly make sales to the County. With the difficulty and greatly added expense of using a different company, the Court agreed to continue to purchase supplies from Select Concrete.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Quorum Court Reverses Log Truck Decision on Old Dermott Road
Jan. 24, 2012

Several concerned Drew County citizens attended Monday night’s regular Quorum Court meeting to address concerns over the Court’s recent decision to open Old Dermott Road to truck traffic. Kenny Worbington lives on Old Dermott Rd. and said to the Court, “I’m here as a spokesman for this group of people… We’re just here to voice our opinion on the decision that was made about 3 weeks ago by the Quorum Court to open Old Dermott Road to log truck traffic. We’re opposed to this.”

He went on to say, “We’re not against the log trucks. What we would like for you to do is for you to close traffic to large trucks until the road is widened and fixed.” “It’s one of the most dangerous roads in this county. There’s no shoulder… no room for mistakes, nowhere to go.”

Mr. Worbington said Cherry St. residents were also present, and they have the same concerns. He stated that he had measured Cherry Street and it is 16’3” wide. He said a log truck is 8 feet wide, and its trailer 8’6” wide. A School bus 8’ wide. “If you add that up it’s 16’ of school bus and log truck… not counting the mirrors that stick out from both.” – Worbington

“If you meet a school bus, and a log truck… you can’t pass.” “This is one of the most dangerous situations in Drew County, and I have 65 signatures of people that travel that road, plus written concern from Drew Central School Board.”

Mr. Worbington read a letter from the Drew Central School Board expressing its concerns for the safety of children on its school busses if they were to meet a log truck on the narrow road.

Mr. Worbington then read a letter from logging contractor Mike Pennington (also a Drew Central School Board member) that said he opposes both of the roads opening because the, “road is too narrow, no proper shoulders to meet other vehicles or school busses.” He went on to say it is much safer to route through town.

“I love Drew County and I love my family… and my family has been put in danger.” “We’re not against anybody making a living. We’re concerned for kids on a school bus that have no say in where they ride.” – Kenny Worbington

“All we’re asking is you pass an ordinance and close that road to heavy trucks until it’s fixed. Until it’s widened, until shoulders are put on it, until ditches are dug…” Worbington

Mr. Worbington went on to explain that the road through downtown is a state road so if it gets torn up by big trucks, the state will pay to repair it and Drew County doesn’t have to use tax money to fix it like they do Old Dermott Rd.

“I’m going to make a motion and y’all can vote how you want to.” – Renee Knowles to the Quorum Court

Renee Knowles moved to make an ordinance to close Old Dermott Rd. to big truck traffic until the road is big truck ready, including the possibility of the maximum penalty according to the law for breaking the ordinance.

The motion passed unanimously by the Court.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Quorum Court Opens Old Dermott Road for Log Truck Traffic; Talk of I-69 Expansion toward Wilmar
Dec 21, 2011

 

Mayor Allen Maxwell and MEDC Executive Director Nita Mcdaniel presenteda powerpoint presentation to theCourt showing the current traffic congestion problems in the City.

Mayor Maxwell stated that the closure of Old Dermott Road to log trucks has rerouted the trucks to drive through the core of Monticello. 2,800 trucks per year currently into the city via Price Lumber Company. This causes unsafe traffic conditions and congestion.

Price Lumber Company is soon to add a third shift, and 36 employees. This will add an additional 933 trucks per year through downtown Monticello, making the new total 3,733.

To releave the traffic issues, a study by the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department suggests that the County open Old Dermott Roard and the City open Cherry Street to truck traffic.

Opening these roads would keep a large portion of truck traffic off of the city streets and alleviate the congestion issues – especially at the HWY 425 and HWY 27 intersection. It would also require loggers to drive fewer miles, saving money on trips.

Court member Rene Knowles stated that it costs approximately $5 a mile to drive their family log trucks.

With the logging industry suffering with the down economy, Mayor Maxwell told the Court, “It costs Price money and it costs loggers money… the price of lumber goes up.”

Mrs. McDaniel said, “The entire community benefits from the mill being here.” “We’ve got to keep what we have.”

Future plans to further help releave traffic issues that were suggested included:
- Connect Jordan Drive to HWY 35
- Connect Scoggin Drive to HWY 278
- Connect Scoggin Drive to Barkada Rd.

Mayor Maxwell explained that much of these plans would depend on the future of I-69 and if the expansion of the interstate through Monticello did happen.

Judge Lampkin stated that he had been studying this issue and, “I cannot find an ordinance saying that road [Old Dermott Rd.] is closed.”

Rene Knowles said, “I’m not for opening it and I’m a log woman.” “I know what it’s going to cost to do the road.” “That road is going to melt!”

“We’ll just have to fix it.” – Carol Bulloch

Discussion began about the safety of having log trucks traveling the narrow road along with school busses and other traffic. The issue of financially being able to make the road safe for such traffic, and keep it repaired resulted in Judge Lampkin saying, “As long as we have the one cent sales tax, we can afford to repair it.”

A motion was made to take the “no trucks” sign off of Old Dermott Road and open it to truck traffic. The motion passed.

 

28 Responses to “Safety, Signs,School Buses, & 18-Wheelrs on Old Dermott Road Issues Presented to Quorum Court”

  1. Robert Moore says:

    Rose Hill Cut-off rd needs to be opened for trucks also to relieve downtown truck traffic.

  2. DENISE WILKERSON says:

    I DON’T FEEL THIS IS A GOOD MOVE THE ROAD IS NOT WIDE ENOUGH FOR THE SCHOOL BUS AND LOG TRUCKS TO COME DOWN AT THE SAME TIME SAFELY AND THE LOG TRUCKS FLY DOWN THE ROAD I LIVE ON THIS ROAD AND I KNOW

  3. sue says:

    maxwell wants to open theese roads old dermont road add rose hill cut off to tear them up but he dont want tofix any streets there are pot holes all over town

  4. hometowngirl says:

    I live on Cherry St and we have enough problems with them coming through here and speeding! We have many children on this road and this is just asking for trouble!! IF Cherry st is opened up for this traffic are there going to be more patrols for speeding log trucks? I can understand Old Dermott hwy there is not many residents on that road. We will be just another road that is tore up from the traffic of log trucks that won’t get fixed!!!!

  5. Jeff says:

    Sounds strange that the MONTICELLO mayor and the MONTICELLO economic development want to open county roads. Wait maybe they are just acting normal. How about fixing the CITY’s problems. Open two county roads and let them get in worse shape. I say keep the highway traffic on the highway. It is only 2 miles. GET OVER IT.

  6. LAX says:

    Old Dermott Road is too narrow for log truck traffic and this is going to lead to more deadly accidents. Rose Hill cutoff road is too narrow for a normal size truck. I do not see big truck ever being allowed on that road unless the city plans on widening it.

  7. Assinine says:

    That road barely has enough room when two cars are meeting AND the road in certain spots has an inferior bed. If they plan to do this, the roadbed must be re-worked and widened.

  8. DC student says:

    I agree with Jeff. I live out on HWY 277, and log trucks come down here all the time, going so fast that they’re practically floating. Not only that, but it also tears out pavement and ruts up the road really bad.

  9. Susan Wishard says:

    What a horrible idea! People do not realize how many school kids are being transported or teenagers driving this road. Many college students commute from Lake Village and eastern portions of the county use this as a short-cut to UAM. My huge pet peeve about these areas is the dogs being dumped out at the intersection of Cherry and Old Dermott. Then the problem is compounded during hunting season because folks also use Firing Range road as a dumping place for their deer carcass, which in turn is drug out into the road by the stray dogs making for an interesting drive on a road that is already too curvy!! Please, lets just add a parade of log trucks to the mix and wait for disaster to occur.

  10. ray garrison says:

    I live on Cherry st. and the log trucks already come flying down this street,even tho there is a sign at the highway end that says NO THRU TRUCKS,that has been there for many many years.This street isn’t wide enough for two cars to pass very well,never less log trucks.There has been times when they have came close to sending me into the ditch.Then there is the issue of them flying down the street.Everyone knows that a large truck can’t stop as fast as a smaller car or truck right.Well when they are going down the hill unloaded it doesn’t have as much traction as when they are loaded,what are they going to do when one of the kids that live on this road run out in front of them?

  11. David says:

    This should have been asked in the publics opinion. It is already dangerous on old Dermott road because of how narrow it is. Besides the fact the trucks that have been slipping through there drive like a bat out of h _ _ _. Just sit at the red light at City Park and watch the log trucks that run the red light speeding thinking they own the hiway in the publics view. Now multiply that times ten on a back road it equals disaster.

  12. Concerned says:

    I live on the old dermott rd and have for years. When I was a kid log trucks kept this road beat to pieces and everybody had to replace mailboxes pretty regular due to the road being so narrow. There have already been complaints made to the county judge about the road width and that was before the log trucks. I can personally think of at least three wrecks that were caused because of this issue. I really appreciate how our elected officials once again neglected to find out how the local residents felt about this before making a final decision. I guess it will take someone getting seriously hurt to make them realize this was not a smart move. We already have an issue with people driving too fast so just combine a narrow road too much speed and now log trucks and let’s see what kind of disaster happens. I would also like to thank ms. Knowles for standing up on this issue at least one of you thought it through completely

  13. Just sayin says:

    Rosehill cut off needs to be opened also. Log trucks coming into town using Gabbert street drive way to fast. There is a day care on this street, only a matter of time before someone gets hit.

  14. Didn't really wanna say anything says:

    I can understand all the concern for log trucks on Old Dermott Road, but as I listened to the judge, he said the quorum court had never passed anything prohibiting log truck traffic on this road. All the county had to do was take down the road sign about no thru trucks. Probably not going to be a whole lot of log truck traffic just from 35 hwy. Hope not anyway

  15. dusted out says:

    How bought paving the rest of the gravel roads before spending our tax om special interest groups. About 20 homes on our road and all the maintenence it gets is some grading and a lot of county pickup truck traffic by workers that are just riding around and getting paid!

  16. Resident on Old Dermott Road says:

    Has Mayor Maxwell or Mr. Carmical actually driven down old Dermott Road or Firing Range Road? Both are narrow and lots of curves. The white line is eroded on most of them. Deep ditches on both sides. Then the single yellow line down the middle. When two cars pass it is tight. What happens when our school buses have to pass a log truck?

    Maybe DOT will set up a scale on Old Dermott Road and Hwy 35. Any trucks driving down Old Dermott Road should be weighed.

    What speed will these trucks be driving? It is posted 35 MPH. Most traffic drives 45 MPH. Some morning traffic, cutting through to get to the schools and UAM drive 70 MPH.

    Did anyone ask the residents of Old Dermott Road if they wanted the logging trucks? NO! Because we were never asked. This issue was voted on without any of the residents being informed.

    This is an election year. The residents of Old Dermott Road will remember how our quorum court sold us down the river to make Mayor Maxwell happy. Isn’t he the fellow that promised traffic lights back at the town square? What about a new fire station? Stay in town Mayor Maxwell and leave the good folks in the county alone.

    Price lives here. They are not going to relocate to Texas. 4 miles is not going to close Price Lumber down. Nor is it going to cripple the log trucks.

    I promie that every log truck I see that appears over loaded or is speeding, I will call and report to the State Police/DOT. After a few expensive tickets traveling this road, the log trucks will go back to the highways and leave the Old Dermott Road alone.

    Curious if the Highway Department has approved heavy trucks of 80,000# traveling on and off the highway at Hwy 35 and Old Dermott Road? Has the railroad approved the heavy truck traffic crossing their railroad at this intersection? How much damage will these 40 ton trucks do to the intersection and railroad crossing?

    Lets replace the entire quorum court this year and send them a message. Ask the residents before voting about our roads!

  17. Amazed says:

    I can understand that people are concerned about the width of the road and log trucks, but I can’t understand how people think this is more dangerous than having these trucks go all the way through downtown. If you think about the intersections that these trucks were having to go through with Old Dermott Road being closed. Someone mentioned that they run stop signs or traffic lights. Well, isn’t it better for them to come down a county road and encounter a lot less traffic than to have them going through the main intersections of town. They have to go through the square, make the turn by E-Z Mart and then Hwy. 425. On Hwy. 425, they have 2 intersections to go through. One is the main intersection by Ray’s which is always busy and the other one is the intersection that leads to the schools and hospital. Eliminating some traffic in these areas only makes sense. Keeping these trucks off the city streets means less wear on these roads. You have to admit that these roads are traveled a whole lot more by people than Old Dermott Road.

    I am “AMAZED” by the criticism of all of these people when logging is one of the only professions that has helped sustain this town for many years. Most people in this town have a friend or family member that is now or in the past been associated with the logging industry. Just think where we would all be without the logging industry in general. The log truck owners pay substantial taxes each year just to be able to operate these trucks. How the tax money is spent (if it’s not on road repair) is out of their hands.

    I wish people would step back and look at the big picture here. People should be happy that Price Lumber is planning on adding another shift which will create more jobs in town. Tell me what other businesses are doing that? The answer is no one. Businesses are being closed and people are being laid off and there have been no new jobs to take their place.

    Before people want to make statements about Mr. Carmical or the business that he is involved with, they need to do a little research. As a matter of fact, he does travel Old Dermott Road and I am sure his family does too. Also, Price Lumber is constantly asked for donations for fundraisers, school events and many other things. They do their part to help support all of these things. Think about that when you want to complain and say things. I am sure that every one of the people complaining above has in some way benefited from their generosity.

  18. Hello says:

    This is nothing against the logging industry its a safety factor. Amazed if your kid or a family member got ran over by a non law abiding truck driver you would understand. i have had a family member killed by a log truck because he was driving over the speed limit and thought he owned the road because he was driving a big rig!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Unknown says:

    Yes, Many 18-wheeler drivers do run some red lights… But do you realize how much of a distance it requires to stop a loaded trailer? On several occasions, I have had to run red-lights due to there not being enough time to stop, or if I did reach a stop it would be in the middle of the intersection and no speeding is not the cause of this… The shortness of the yellow light is. The old dermott road and rose hill cutoff roads are way too narrow and many large vehicle drivers don’t feel comfortable enough to actively drive them. These roads need to be widened, regardless of the size of vehicles driving on them.

  20. dc teacher says:

    I also live on old dermott rd!!! i am contantly outside in my yard with my children & working in my yard!!!! i have witness logged trucks hauling ___ over that railroad track not even looking or stopping!!!! they come by my house all the time hauling ___!!! ive even been checking my mail and they dont even bother to slow down or barely move over!!! this road is way to narrow for big rigs!!!!! i have a teenager daughter thats has been almost ran off the road because of stupid big trucks!!! there have been many many times that my husband has pulled people out of those ditches because a deer jumped out in front of them, going WAY to fast or a big truck ran them off the road!!! this road is barely wide enough for the school buses to go down must less a big truck!!!!!

  21. CC says:

    Cue the Peter, Paul, and Mary music: ” the Quorum Court my friend, is blowing in the wind. The Quorum Court is blowing in the wind.”

  22. me says:

    lived down the road from old dermott rd, the road is very narrow,it not big enough for 2 cars. been seeing the log trucks come this way, they do drive fast!! someone need to drive the mayor down it, when the log trunk is coming down it!!

  23. Rose Hill says:

    I live on Rose hill cut off rd. The road to is too narrow for any such large traffic. When 2 school buses meet there is no room for mistakes. I have seen a bus hit another bus and left the scene. And there is signs that say “NO TRUCKS”.. Ther has been log trucks, chip trucks and such still traveling this road. There is no shoulders on this road. And there are too many drop offs, dicthes are deep, and in some places there is no ditch. And the Creek, there is no Guard railing. I have seen a few cars and trucks in the creek a few times.. There is no room for any kind of mistake on these narrow county roads. In some places the road is washing away. Needs to be re-ditched, new drainge ditches dug, so the road want be under water if it comes a rain.. As far as, Old dermott road, lets keep these roads until they are fixed. No large truck should drive that road until it is fixed to the satisfaction of the people in that area. And “YES I DO LIVE ON ROSE HILL CUT OFF RD….”

  24. Resident on Old Dermott Road says:

    The people have spoken!

    Its an election year and those running for office should keep in mind, WE THE PEOPLE will vote come the primaries and November!

    Now if the dingbats that drive 100 mph on Old Dermott Road on their way to Drew Central, Monticello Schools and UAM will obey the speed limit, our road will be safe!

  25. Conservative voter says:

    One loghauler told me “I live down this road”. Loaded or empty, it is still a $1000 fine for driving on Old Dermott Road in a truck. If I was everyone, I would use caution driving on Old Dermott Road. Several times this week deputies have been hid in the trees waiting for speeders and trucks.

    Our children are also getting on and off school buses. Please use caution on these dangerous county roads.

  26. Assinine says:

    Back to the original issue. Mayor Maxwell snowed all but one member of the Court telling them that Price Lumber may move to Texas if the road wasn’t open to large trucks. The Court reversed itself, and now ambiguity is the rule. Court members, please don’t rush to decisions until the facts are known and you will have less of this type thing going on.

  27. Select for the Select says:

    Doesn’t anyone else see that there is a reason that there is a code that prevents elected officials from directly or indirectly doing business with the County. If this is state law then the county does not have the power to supercede state law, but I doubt that this would keep our county attorney from doing it anyway. He benefits. I sometimes think laws are made up in Drew County to suit a few people.

  28. ArTravlR says:

    You said, “I sometimes think laws are made up in Drew County to suit a few people.” I have observed this to be true.

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