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Tree removal to improve Greenwell Springs Rd. safety

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CENTRAL - Crews began cutting down trees along Greenwell Springs Road Monday as part of a multi-million dollar makeover to improve driving safety.

The improvements cover the 8 mile stretch between Central Thruway and Liberty Road. The Department of Transportation and Development plans to remove trees in the right-of-way along the highway and in ditches to improve drainage and to give drivers a better view of oncoming traffic.

People who live nearby know the dangers of Greenwell Springs Road. In the past five years several crashes have killed drivers on the curvy highway.

"It's pretty dangerous. I mean of you leave the roadway you're either going to hit a tree or hit a culvert," said Central resident Darryl Shaffer. "You're going to be able to see better and even pulling out of my own driveway some of the trees that they're going to cut I'll be able to see down the road before you pull out. I mean there's numerous accidents out here, mainly because people can't see."

Some residents once placed warning signs along the highway urging drivers to slow down to the 45 mph speed limit. Last year DOTD installed rumble strips and improved reflective striping. Some residents feel even more needs to be done to improve safety.

"What I would really like to see them do is put culverts down into those deep ditches. Some of the ditches are very deep. A car can almost disappear in them," said Roxanne Atkinson. "So if they would put culverts down and remove the trees I think that would make a difference on the safety of that highway."

Crews will work to remove trees during weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and could close a lane of traffic at a time with flaggers directing traffic. Crews may also shut down the road on weekends for up to 15 minutes at a time, according to DOTD.

 

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