Residents, commissioners ask state to install guardrails on Fork Creek Road

Published 1:54 pm Friday, June 8, 2012

DOT to install warning signs for now
Polk County commissioners and Saluda residents are urging the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) to install guardrails as soon as possible along Fork Creek Road near Saluda, citing dangerous conditions.
Commissioners met Monday, June 4 in Saluda and approved a resolution regarding the road’s dangers and urging the state to improve the road as soon as possible.
Residents have written to state officials and posted photographs at urging the state to install guardrails along sections of Fork Creek Road where there is a narrow shoulder at the top of a steep ravine.
State officials have responded that they will install “narrow shoulder” signs until guardrails can be funded and installed.
Local residents say the most dangerous section is located 0.5 miles from the corner of Fork Creek Road and Pearson Falls Road. The DOT has said that portion of Fork Creek Road (SR1100), has minimal shoulder widths, including locations with approximately 1 foot of shoulder, and meets DOT warrants for guardrail installation.
“In the last five years there have been four reported accidents on this section of SR 1100, Fork Creek Road, with only one of those leaving the roadway (not going off an embankment),” stated Steve Cannon, PE, DOT district engineer, in an email to Polk County. “On this portion of SR 1100, Fork Creek Road, NCDOT Traffic Department will be installing Narrow Shoulder signs until such time as guardrail can be installed.”
Mary Ann Asbill wrote a letter dated April 22 to Rep. Trudi Walend, saying citizens have reported bad conditions on Fork Creek Road for many years.
“In the past, temporary and ineffective repairs have been made to the road bed itself. No repairs or prevention has been taken to solve the underlying cause of the road problems,” states Asbill’s letter to Walend. “Railings are needed to protect citizens who drive along Fork Creek Road. Erosion causes the roadbed to cave in and erosion has caused the shoulder of the road to become too soft to hold the weight of vehicles. Also, in the two most dangerous sections, there is no shoulder to the road at all. Any vehicle tire that goes even slightly over the white line will fall all the way to the bottom of the ravine.”
Asbill also mentions that school buses travel on the road and increased trailer traffic is visiting Orchard Lake Campground, located along the road.
The commissioners’ resolution requests that state contingency funds be released to fund this project as soon as possible.

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