Heiskell safety upgrades complete

Sandra ClarkFeature, Powell

State Rep. Bill Dunn was back in Heiskell on Tuesday, and Dan Arp was all smiles as he showed Dunn the safety upgrades installed by the state department of transportation at the railroad overpass on Raccoon Valley Road.


The road makes a sharp turn at the trestle and motorists tend either to take the middle or, at night, to drive too close to the supports. The road is littered with auto body parts that have been scraped off.

So TDOT engineer Nathan Vatter studied the traffic patterns at Dunn’s request and presented a plan for improvements in June. Arp appreciated the quick attention. Basically, the state installed “Yield” signs on both approaches and strapped reflectors to the supports.

The strap-on reflectors will enhance safety at night.

Dunn explained that the railroad would not sign off on TDOT drilling holes in the supports, and TDOT could not use decal reflectors because the supports were so rusty. Vatter’s crew did a work-around with the reflectors. “We could come back at night to see how they’re working,” said Dunn.

Arp and I looked at each other. “Nope,” we said at the same time.

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