ERWIN — The town of Unicoi Board of Mayor and Aldermen has taken action to address an ongoing problem within the town — large trucks and tractor-trailers finding their way onto narrow, residential roads.
At Monday’s regular meeting, the board unanimously approved the second and final reading of an ordinance to restrict large truck traffic on certain roads within the town.
The restricted roads included in the ordinance are Marbleton Road, except from the southern intersection with Unicoi Drive to the end of the Jones and Church packing house property and except from the northern intersection with Unicoi Drive west to the end; Springbrook Road; Golf Course Road except to the pro shop; Massachusetts Avenue; Tennessee Street; Tinker Road except from the Interstate 26 interchange to Rocky Bottom Road; Washington Street except to the Unicoi Volunteer Fire Department; Zane Whitson Drive; and Powder Hollow Road.
Unicoi Town Recorder Larry Rea said that in many instances, the GPS system on the trucks leads them incorrectly down narrow roads. He said this results in much time being spent backing the trucks out of dead end, residential roads.
The board also approved the second and final reading of an ordinance to require all utilities, including gas, electric, sewer, water, telephone and cable, seeking to install underground lines within the town to obtain a permit from the town recorder prior to digging on any public right-of-way with the exception of addressing a service interruption.
The ordinance said that upon acceptance of the permit, the utility company or contractor shall be responsible for all damages to property controlled by the town. It also said all underground installation following alongside a town street must be two feet from the edge of the pavement and a minimum of three feet in depth, unless a variance is granted.
“All utility work performed by said Utility or Construction Company on town of Unicoi Rights-of-Way shall be responsible for returning the Right-of-Way to the condition it was before construction began,” the ordinance said.
According to the ordinance, each violation of the ordinance is punishable with up to a $50 fine plus town of Unicoi Municipal Court costs.