County discusses impact of large trucks on local roads

Published 6:40 pm Friday, February 15, 2019

On Thursday, the Troup County Board of Commissioners received an update on large truck traffic on county roads. 

The update was in response to complaints regarding large trucks on Pyne Road and a citizen who worried that commercial trucks could be damaging county roads in the area. The Troup County Board of Commissioners does have the ability to close roads to commercial truck traffic under certain circumstances, but due to the impact on businesses in the county, such a decision would require strong reasons. 

“One of the biggest concerns that the board had four years ago when we discussed this was economic development in general,” County Engineer James Emery said. “The hindrance that we could have if Troup County were to get a reputation as being freight unfriendly — if we got the reputation of being a county that is going to restrict a lot of commercial traffic, freight traffic, restrict some of the best routes for traffic to go for commercial vehicles — that has happened in other places where there have been too many restrictions put on the roads.”

Emery showed the commission the proposed route if someone wanted to drive from Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia to Birmingham, and all three proposed routes included Pyne Road. However, Emery did not recommend restricting the road to large truck traffic. According to a counter placed on Pyne Road, out of the more than 1,600 vehicles a day that travel on Pyne Road, there was an average of four large trucks a day. The exception to that average was on last Saturday when 66 trucks with six axels or more traveled the road. Emery was unsure of the reason behind the large difference.

Emery said there were no recommendations from the county staff to make changes to the county’s current ordinance regarding large trucks on county roads at this time.

Troup County previously performed an extensive review of road usage by large trucks in 2014.

“We ended up with a recommendation to amend our ordinance to put in place three different types of roads when we talk about county roads,” Emery said. “This only applies to county roads, and those three types are truck routes, non-truck routes and restricted roads. Our ordinance was amended at that time to place three county roads on the list of restricted roads.”

Fling Road, Old West Point Road and North Butts Mill Road were updated to restrict large truck traffic at that time. Emery said that those restrictions were the result of thorough analysis. Truck routes were also designated on Pegasus Parkway, Davis Road, Waugh Road, Anne Bailey Road, Orchard Hill Road, Lukken Industrial Drive and Upper Big Springs Road (between I-185 and LaGrange) at that time.

Other topics covered during the Troup County Board of Commissioners work session included:

  • Sheriff James Woodruff provided additional details on a request that the commission approve Skillet Kitchen (which is under Kimble’s Food by Design) to provide food for the Troup County Jail cafeteria. Kimble’s is already the commissary provider and was the only company in the state to submit a bid.
  • The commission considered a request to change a budgeted part-time administrative assistant position to that of a full-time planning and zoning technician. County Manager Eric Mosley said the change would lend needed support to the busy department, and Senior Building Official Jay Anderson said the change would help the employee, who transferred in from the correctional institute during its closure, regain job benefits and remain with the department. 
  • The commission considered a request to declare the county owned building that once served as a state patrol post as surplus. Troup County previously planned to use the building for the Troup County Fire Department, but later determined that the renovations required would be far more extensive than original estimates had indicated. County Commission Chairman Patrick Crews said that he would like to review the request with more information from the county attorney during the commission’s next work session.
  • Troup County Election Supervisor Andrew Harper presented the West Point Elections Contract to the board of commissioners that will allow Troup County to preside over qualifying elections in the city. 
  • The Troup County Board of Commissioners discussed the budget calendar, and the possibility of all department head presentations being held in meetings advertised and open to the public was discussed. In the past, most presentations have only gone before the county manager and only presentations for county departments requesting additional funding went before the board of commissioners. The meetings would likely take place over the course of several days but plans for those meetings were not finalized on Thursday.

The Troup County Board of Commissioners will meet again on Tuesday at 9 a.m. at 100 Ridley Avenue.