The Pulaski County Board of Supervisors moved to pursue new speed limit restriction techniques for Wilderness Road in Newbern during their monthly meeting last Monday night.
This decision followed a lengthy public hearing concerning a proposed ban on through truck traffic on Wilderness Road. The proposal requested the board’s consideration to prohibit trucks on Route 611, beginning at the intersection of old Route 100, and ending at the intersection of Route 682, Newbern Road.
An alternate route was also proposed for the through truck traffic, beginning at old Route 100, to Cleburne Boulevard, to the intersection of Newbern Road, then traveling south and ending at the intersection of Wilderness Road. The distance traveled on Wilderness Road equals about 1.30 miles, while the alternate route would equal out to 2.60 miles.
Multiple Newbern residents, as well as volunteers with the Wilderness Road Regional Museum, supported the proposed truck ban on Wilderness Road. Many of them came before the board to voice their concerns, particularly with the speed at which trucks travel on Wilderness Road.
Advocates for the Wilderness Road Regional Museum, such as museum volunteer and New River Historical Society member Julie Kriss, expressed their concern about the harm the traffic is causing to the older structures in Newbern.
“The road is simply not built to carry this type of traffic,” said Kriss. “It’s narrow, the houses are close to the road, and the vibrations from this traffic can clearly be felt in the buildings.”
Kriss claimed that those vibrations have affected the museum as well as other houses in Newbern, particularly as they have disturbed the stone foundation for the older houses out there. She also noted that the noise from the trucks has made it difficult to show visitors around.
“We aren’t talking about a few trucks here and there,” Kriss said. “The traffic starts around 7 a.m. and continues until 5 or 6 in the evening. There are times when many, many trucks in the road roll right through Newbern.”
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