Tractor trailer wreck blocks downtown traffic; city manager predicts ongoing problems

truck one

Photos courtesy of Burt Crapo


SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

Downtown traffic came to a standstill at the intersection of Hill and Taylor streets Wednesday afternoon when a tractor trailer struck a brick planter that constructed as part of the city of Griffin Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) project.

Griffin Police Department Chief Mike Yates said traffic was obstructed while waiting for the damaged truck to be moved from the area. Yates explained the tractor trailer’s tires struck the planter and bent the wheels, leaving the vehicle inoperable.

When asked how long traffic was obstructed, Yates said, “It took a while to get a wrecker out there – because they had to use a wrecker to pull it out of the planter – so I guess about 30 minutes.”

Griffin City Manager Kenny Smith was not surprised the incident had occurred and said he anticipates further problems involving trucks at that intersection.

“We’ve been trying for years to get GDoT (the Georgia Department of Transportation) to re-route State Route 155 to get large truck traffic out of downtown Griffin for years,” he said. “Since we got the LCI in 2006, we’ve been pleading with DOT, but to no avail. But yes, the right hand turns from Highway 16 onto State Highway 16 is going to be a problem until they reroute State Highway 155.”

Asked if he anticipates other larger vehicles such as fire engines and school buses may also have trouble navigating that turn, Smith said, “They’re just going to have to be slow and careful and there may be times they take an alternate route if traffic is slow or backed up, but we’re lucky to have a grid system where there are alternate routes. Since it goes north, south, east and west, you can easily slide over one block and take a different route.”

Options are being considered that would ease deliveries to the downtown area.

“However, we are looking to some solution for delivery trucks that need to deliver downtown. We are looking at some of our off streets – state street and bank street – we’re looking at a way to make those one-way so the trucks will be able to navigate to make deliveries to downtown businesses,” Smith said, adding that the LCI targeted pedestrian use, not trucks.

“The whole purpose of the LCI is to make the downtown area more pedestrian friendly. You can’t really tell it now, but once it’s completed, you will feel much safer on foot,” he said. “The intent wasn’t to make it truck friendly. The intent was to make it more pedestrian friendly, more walkable.”

Smith reiterated his displeasure with the lack of movement on the part of GDoT.

“We’ve been asking for years, but they haven’t approved the rerouting of 155, which in my opinion is rather absurd,” he said.

He estimates the downtown LCI project will be completed around the month of October.

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Comments

  1. Charles Stiever says:

    This was seen coming a mile away. I can’t believe when this was being reviewed that someone didn’t realize that Griffin’s corners don”t have room as it is. Na what a minute, I do believe it wasn’t realized.

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