Recently, concerned Prestonsburg citizens spoke up over a crumbling roadway located on the Left Fork of Rice Branch in Floyd County, according to the Floyd County Times. They have asked for the county’s assistance in fixing the road before something tragic happens. This road highlights one of many concerns that drivers have in Prestonsburg.
Poor road conditions along Rice Branch present a scary situation for drivers on the route. Resident Steve Spears told the Floyd County Times: “If the road gives way as someone is passing through, it is a 100-foot drop off to the creek below. Someone will get killed.”
This road and other troubling factors are challenging for drivers in our city. Here are 4 top concerns that Prestonsburg drivers have when traveling around town.
The Rice Branch Road is not the only road in Prestonsburg that is in a deteriorating state. Last year, Town Branch Road had numerous potholes, slips, broken asphalt, and parts that were cracking, according to the FCT.
This major road had once offered a quick way for drivers to enter and leave Prestonsburg by avoiding traffic. However, within the last few years, the road had become more dangerous to drive on, as inclement weather caused half the road to cave and fall away, according to the FCT.
There is a bright spot for concerned drivers, as the road may not have a date set for completion, it is being worked on. “We’re working on it, but it will probably be a couple of months before it is finished,” said Chief District Engineer Mary Holbrook.
Prestonsburg drivers also have to deal with continuous traffic congestion. In Kentucky, 53 percent of its urban interstates experience congestion during peak hours, which can have drivers sitting in traffic for extended periods of time, according to TRIP, a national transportation research group.
In order to alleviate a part of this congestion, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet started a project that would help to improve traffic flow between Fayette and Jessamine counties, according to the Lane Report.
The project, which is known as the Mountain Parkway Expansion, will widen 30 miles of the existing road from two lanes to four lanes, and will extend the parkway another 16 miles by widening KY 114 from outside Salyersville to Prestonsburg, according to the Lane Report. This would make for a smoother commute for drivers, as they head to their destination.
Distracted drivers are another worrying factor for motorists. In 2015, there were 58,000 vehicle collisions in Kentucky due to distracted driving, which is 5,000 more than the previous year, according to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety.
“We attribute that spike to several reasons, one people are just desensitized and they are distracted on the roads. Cell phones are a tremendous problem," said Dr. Noelle Hunter, Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety.
In order to combat this problem, the Kentucky State Police are out looking for distracted drivers and pulling them over, according to WKYT. The KY Office of the Highway Safety also wants to strengthen texting laws and make it a top priority for 2017.
Mother nature is also a cause for concern for Prestonsburg drivers. In May, a rockslide closed part of the US 23 roadway in Floyd County, according to WYMT News. A previous rockslide occurred along the same highway, in April 2015.
The City of Prestonsburg closed the road to the public because of the risk that more large rocks could fall, according to WYMT. It was feared that mud could loosen and send boulders tumbling down onto vehicles.
This was the second rockslide to happen in the Kentucky region this year, with one occurring on I-75 at the Kentucky and Tennessee border. Rocks and debris rained down on the interstate, which resulted in long detours around the closures, according to Lex18 News.
There are many worrying matters that drivers have to look out for when on the road, including the ones mentioned above. Drivers have to remember to stay alert at all times and try to remain safe on the road. However, accidents can still occur when least expected.
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