TDOT mistake causes confusion, problems - WSMV Channel 4

TDOT mistake causes confusion, problems

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The state spent thousands of your tax dollars to improve a road in Marshall County that residents say didn't need improving.

Now, TDOT has to shell out thousands more to fix it.

Highway 431 is a major roadway through Belfast, TN.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation identified it as a potentially dangerous crossing, and made some changes. But, people who live and work in the area, say those improvements could ultimately cost lives.

Members of the Belfast Community Association have been fired up ever since TDOT put a concrete barrier in the middle of Highway 431. It was all part of a federal pilot program to make hazardous roadways safer.

But, residents say those improvements are causing confusion and problems.

"It's not safe because you can't actually use the road safely. You can't make right turns without driving over cement barriers, you can't maneuver on State Route 50 without hitting cement," says Fern Greenbank with the Belfast Community Association.

However, Beth Emmons with TDOT explained, "It turned out the concrete barriers themselves weren't conducive to some of the big trucks and hay tractors that have to use the road. We thought it would make the road safer. That's all we were trying to do."

TDOT spent $15,000 of federal funding on the improvements. Now, they plan to remove the barrier. The agency will have to pay for it.

TDOT also admits the project inadvertently encroached on a resident's property. They are working with the landowner to correct the problem.

There is no word on when the barriers will be removed.

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