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Bradley Creek Road speed-limit increase rejected by Hawkins Commission

Jeff Bobo • Dec 18, 2018 at 10:00 PM

ROGERSVILLE — A request to increase the speed limit to 55 mph on Bradley Creek Road near Church Hill was rejected by the Hawkins County Commission on Monday after Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tony Allen said the change would be unsafe.

Bradley Creek Road connects Highway 11-W just west of Volunteer High School with Carters Valley Road at the Carters Valley landfill.

It was created in the early 2000s to improve the route used by heavy trucks to access the landfill, but it is also heavily used by non-commercial vehicles as well.

A speed limit increase from 45 mph to 55 mph was recommended by the commission's Road Committee at the suggestion of Highway Superintendent Lowell Bean.

Bean told the Times News on Tuesday he had been asked to increase the speed limit by several local residents. He said no one from the landfill had requested the speed limit increase, however.

Commissioner Hannah Speaks said she travels on Bradley Creek Road every day.

"This road is the same as Carters Valley or Stanley Valley — it's a two-lane road," Speaks said. "I'm not real sure what brought this to the committee's attention. But I can say I asked around in my district, people who travel this road daily, and I didn't find a single person who wanted this raised."

Speaks also asked Allen to give his opinion on the proposal.

In anticipation of being asked about this proposal, Allen said he traveled that road multiple times Monday at different speeds between 45-60 mph to determine safety.

"At 55 mph, I was still under control going from 11-W to the landfill," Allen told the commission. "But because of the grade of the road, traveling from the landfill back to the highway at 55 mph, my vehicle was not fully under control. I would swerve quite a bit."

Allen noted that many people drive 5 mph over the limit.

He added, "If you hit 60 mph on Bradley Creek Road, you are going to be out of control."

In the past three years, there have only been four speeding complaints on Bradley Creek Road, as well as nine traffic crashes, four of which were attributed to speed.

Allen said Sheriff Ronnie Lawson recommended leaving the speed limit at 45 mph.

The increase was defeated by a vote of 5-16 with Commissioners Keith Gibson, Danny Alvis, Charles Housewright, Charles Thacker and Dawson Fields voting in favor.

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