Clay County Residents Demanding Safer Roads

By: Jon Sonnheim Email
By: Jon Sonnheim Email

Several car accidents and a recent death have left one Clay County community demanding more safety on the roads around their homes. Now some residents say they're fighting to save lives.
Every morning as he drives to work, Denver Barrett says he worries about traveling this stretch of Kentucky 11, from Oneida to Manchester.

"I can't tell you all the people that went over that hill. But I have close friends that went over that hill, and one that lost his life," said Barrett

Those who live around the highway, say the dangers of bad curves, steep drop-offs, and narrow roads are well known. They believe the solution is simple--guard rails.

But officials at the Department of Highways, say it's not that easy. They say it takes traffic studies and accident statistics before guard rails are put up. That's all done with limited funding, so the worst usually get the money first.

"In the past few years, we have increased the amount of funding for guard rails, but that's statewide. And as I said, we're competing with every county across the state," said Sandy Rudder, of the Department of Highways.

Ultimately, both sides say they will continue to push for safety

"We do everything we possibly can to make our roads as safe as possible for all of us to travel on," said Rudder.

"We keep trying," Barrett says. "That's the only thing I know to do."

Officials with the Department of Highways say they are working on a project to rebuild a cliff off of Kentucky 11, that they hope to have done sometime in 2008.

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