Officials: Don’t drive around barricades

Published 3:00 am Friday, January 1, 2016

BY: Michael Shipma

It may be tempting, but driving around or moving barricades that are blocking road work can be very dangerous.

Jeanna Barnes, director of the Pike County Emergency Management Agency, said not only does dodging barricades pose a threat to the safety of the driver and his or her passengers, it also puts the safety of on-site workers at risk as well.

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“Barricades are placed for safety reasons,” Barnes said. “I can guarantee you that not a single road has been closed or a barricade placed that has been done so to simply create a nuisance.”

According to Barnes, not only is avoiding these roadblocks dangerous, it’s also against the law.

Since last week, numerous county and city roads have been closed because of sinkholes, debris, and flooding caused by heavy rainfall, rendering those routes unsafe to drive on. Consequently, this has made it difficult for some Pike County residents to go about their daily business and holiday travels.

“The simple answer is to use an alternate route,” Barnes said. “We understand this may be inconvenient until all necessary repairs are made, but it is the only way to keep yourself from being injured or worse.”

Despite the inconvenience from all the damaged roads, Barnes and other city and council officials are begging drivers to adhere to the laws, and to plan ahead to avoid running into road work. The Pike County EMA, Pike County Sheriff’s Office, and Pike County Road Department are all working together as they try to reopen the roads.

At the same time, Barnes said that the county is doing its best to keep residents informed as to which routes are safe to drive on.

“If you are unsure about a particular road, we are only a phone call away to get that information,” she said.

“Crews are working as hard as possible to repair the roads,” she added. “There has been extensive damage on some of them and repairs may not be quick. We ask for the public to please remain patient as the repair process continues. It is far better to wait however long it takes to have the repairs made properly.”