The Jackson County Commission voted to move forward with a safety project for County Road 21. The county was awarded a grant through the High-Risk Rural Roads Program. The estimated total amount for the project is $35,000.
At the Commission’s work session last week, County Engineer Jonathan Campbell said he submitted a list of projects for selection, but County Road 21 had the highest annual average daily traffic and the highest number of crashes. He said that funds are obligated every year when roadway fatalities meet a threshold. He received crash data in locations throughout the county, and he is tasked with putting for the counter measures and a project. The projects are then chosen from what he submitted.
Campbell said traffic stripe pavement markers would be installed. There would be traffic control markings, legends and LED curve lights installed on County Road 21 from Maple Street to County Road 321. Campbell said it is an isolated curve on the first portion of County Road 21 headed north to Pikeville.
Commission Chairman Tim Guffey was glad to receive some funds to be able to move forward with the project.
“I’m glad we got the funding for this project because this is the only way we would be able to do it,” said Guffey.
The County Road 21 project is similar to the County Road 77 safety project the commission received a grant for last year.
The High-Risk Rural Roads program is a federal program to reduce the statewide fatality rate on rural roads. It is not an annual program, and it is triggered by the state fatality rate. Projects are evaluated and prioritized by committee. The priority is on safety related projects to reduce the amount of severe crashes on rural roads. The project may be completed by a contract through state services, on call bids, or force account work.
Guffey said it is always good when the county can get help to make roads safer, and this project would be beneficial for the county.
“Anything we can do to make the county safer, I’m all for it,” said Guffey. “We’re going to try and get as many of these safety project grants as we can.”