More than a year after Warren County requested the Tennessee Department of Transportation to add rumble strips along Highway 8 on Harrison Ferry Mountain, not a peep has been heard.
“Something we talked about months ago, or maybe a year ago, was rumble strips on Highway 8 on top of the mountain,” said Commissioner Randy England. “What was the final outcome of getting the state to do that?”
Rumble strips are grooves in the roadway that, as the tires of a vehicle contact them, they produce sound and vibration to alert the driver. The county asked for them to be placed back in April 2015.
England’s status inquiry came during a Highway and Bridge Committee meeting held Tuesday with fellow members Gary Prater, chair, Gary Martin, David Rhea and Blaine Wilcher in attendance.
“I never have heard any more about it,” said Road Superintendent Levie Glenn.
England added, “I was thinking about it the other day. If they have a machine that will do it, I don’t know why they can’t run it through there and do it.”
“It’s probably expensive,” said Prater. “Not everybody has one of those machines.”
Glenn added, “It makes an indention along the white line and wakes you up when you veer off.”
A wakeup call was needed March 17, 2015 when a sleeping motorist left the roadway and struck the guy wire on a DTC Wireless tower and toppled a 300-foot communications tower and took out cellphone service to residents in the area. As the tower fell, it brought down lines from both Ben Lomand Connect and Caney Fork Electric. It left the southern part of Warren County without power or landline communication.
While no one was injured, the straightness of the highway can create a hazardous situation when people are driving tired and that prompted the committee to request rumble strips approximately 19 months ago.
Being on Highway 8, a state route, TDOT makes the final decision.