Updated By: Winnie Wright
July 11, 2014
Valdosta, GA - In Thursday's City Council meeting, a resolution was passed that would make the truck detour around Downtown Valdosta that is currently in place a permanent fixture.
The City will now send the resolution to The Georgia Department of Transportation for approval.
If approved, GDOT will put in the permanent signage discouraging truckers from driving the most direct route from East to West, through downtown.
Valdosta, GA - Since construction began on an railroad overpass in Downtown Valdosta, commuter trucks have been encouraged to take a detour around the city. Mayor, John Gayle, says he wants to make that detour a permanent fixture.
"With a two lane highway, like U.S 84 is, coming through the middle of Valdosta; we just can't afford for trucks to be coming through there, abreast of one another and that kind of stuff. We have had accidents before, and we want to make sure that we don't have any more", says Gayle.
Local businesses say the trucks are a big problem. Not only do they tear up the curbs, but they also tie up traffic..and have on occasion, even hit a car.
"There are a lot of large trucks, and they do rattle the building. They rattle the panes. I think it might be a little bit easier all around, and safer all around if the trucks went all around", says Marcie Dennard, who's employer, CJB Industries has been downtown for 3 years.
Gayle says enforcement will be a problem. Officers cannot stop truckers from driving a state route..just because its merely an inconvience to them. Other businesses say they aren't sure the resolution will help.
"It's dollars and cents for the log truck guys. I think, unfortunately, with the overpass, it's going to enhance, or at least invite them through downtown", says Scott James of Talk 92.1.
Valdosta City Council will vote on the resolution at Thursday's meeting at 5:30 in City Hall.
Mayor Gayle tells us he expects the council to pass a resolution without any problems. He says the resolution will then be sent to the Georgia Department of Transportation for approval.
If approved, GDOT will then install detour signs, discouraging trucks from driving through the downtown area. The mayor also says local delivery trucks will still be allowed to drive through down-town if the resolution passes.