Driver’s Beware!! Lane shifts, narrow lanes as bridgework gets underway in Valley Forge

Published 3:30 pm Monday, June 8, 2020

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If anyone has traveled in the Valley Forge are over the last four to five days, the drive has become a little hairy on both sides of Highway 19-E bridge near the Valley Forge Freewill Baptist Church as work as began on repairs to the bridge that crosses the Doe River.
There have been several near misses and an accident on Friday as the workers had temporarily laid down a non-temporary line that quickly was turned into a quagmire as heavy rain and traffic caused the lines to peel off the road and go in all different directions.
Workers returned to replace the lines but once again the lines quickly peeled up and on Monday the workers had returned a third time and were painting lines on the highway this time.
Motorists need to be careful as the lanes coming toward Hampton have shifted with one lane now occupying what at one time was the shoulder of the road.
Also, the construction has caused two lanes of the traffic approaching Elizabethton to be converted into one of the lanes that were being utilized for a lane heading toward Hampton as well as taking up the turning lane.
With the turning lane being eliminated, some motorists heading toward Hampton have been forced to turn left onto side roads without a turning lane while narrowing the busy turn lane left onto Siam Road and shortening the lane with traffic buoys.
All motorists are encouraged to slow down and be alert while work is being completed or one might find themselves involved in a serious traffic accident.
Summer is a time that a lot of road projects are taken care of due to the dry, warm weather and there are other projects underway in the county including the bridge replacement in the Southside area of the county.
Also, motorists should be well aware of cyclists who take to the roads, especially on the backroads of the county during this time of year.
With heavy rain downpours and summertime storms, the roadways can become slick and create hydroplaning conditions.
Summer is a time of heavy travel and even with the lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions, there is an extreme amount of traffic on area roadway.
Always remember that an ounce of prevention can prevent a headache due to an auto accident and possible injuries or death.

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