By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Following a public hearing, Pulaski County Board of Supervisors voted Monday night to prohibit through truck traffic on Highland and three other roads, but it could still be early next year before the restriction signs are installed.
County Administrator Peter Huber said the supervisors’ approval forwards the matter to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), which will also have to vote on whether to restrict trucks from using Highland, Ruebush, Morgan Farm and Hickman Cemetery roads as a shortcut between Routes 11 and 100.
If the restrictions receive CTB approval commercial trucks will only be able to travel on these roads if they have business on one of them. For example, a truck could make a delivery on the road, but it could not merely use the route as a shortcut to another destination.
Laura Easter, who has been trying to put a stop to truck traffic on Highland Road since 2009, said Monday night that tractor-trailer trucks are a problem on Highland Road day and night. She said her family often has to help trucks get turned around when they come to a bridge near her house that is more than a century old and has a 10-ton weight limit.
“The truckers say they ‘Googled’” the route on the Internet and it recommended Highland Road because it’s the shortest route. “But it’s not the only route,” she added. “The only road truckers should consider using that connects to Highland is Ruebush.”
However, Huber said an official with Virginia Department of Transportation recommended truck restrictions on all four of the proposed roads. He explained that the only remaining route once Highland is restricted would be longer than if the trucks just stayed on Routes 11 and 100.
Since it could take around nine months for truck restriction signs to be installed, Huber said he would see if weight limit signs for the bridge could be “bolstered.”
Easter told the supervisors that the weight limit signs on each side of the bridge disappeared after last month’s board of supervisors meeting. Restrictions on through truck traffic on Highland Road were discussed at that meeting, as well, and Easter speculated someone removed them in anger.
With those signs missing, Easter said the only remaining weight restriction sign is at the Highland/Ruebush intersection.