Writer concerned about Gap Creek Road closure

Published 9:36 am Tuesday, December 5, 2023

To the Editor:
I am writing for the letter to the editor column about the issue with the closing of the Gap Creek Road. I remember seeing an article about it and a news story on WJHL when the State closed the bridge and effectively closed Gap Creek Road to through traffic. Those people who lived down there were up in arms about the extra time it took and for having to travel the “Goat Trail of a Road” on Jim Elliott Road.
I am writing to convey another message about this unbelievable closure and ridiculous handling of the situation. The closing has brought an insane amount of traffic to our little stretch of road and a plethora of poor and fast drivers. That little section of “Goat Trail” is home to four active farms and there is farm equipment entering and traveling that road regularly, including myself.
The State has said that they don’t have that project slated for starting until 2025. This is absolute absurdity. This closure has created not only a huge inconvenience for many people but has also put people’s lives at risk because they are being pushed down that little “goat trail” backroad.
I encourage all residents of Carter County, not only the ones of the Gap Creek community and Jim Elliott Road, to implore your elected officials. I am calling out to our State Representative, Mr. John Holtsclaw, our State Senator, Mr. Rusty Crowe, officials at TDOT and our County Highway Department to stand up and get something done on this as soon as possible. Those people are fed up with having to drive around the “Goat Trail” to get to their home and their relatives; we the residents of the “Goat Trail” are tired and fearful of what this continued detour will cause. It is just a matter of time before someone gets seriously injured or killed there.
Hopefully, the people in charge will step up before that occurs.

Thank you for your time
Stephen Tolley
Elizabethton

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