published Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Some roads in Bledsoe County, Tenn., getting new speed limits

Drivers traveling some of the back roads in Bledsoe County, Tenn., will see new speed-limit signs on eight stretches of blacktop in mountainous areas.

The Bledsoe County Commission recently set speed limits on five county roads off state Route 101 and lowered the speed limit on two others south of state Highway 30 on the west side of the county.

County Road Superintendent Marvin Smith said new signs are being posted on all affected roads.

The roads assigned a speed limit of 30 mph are Cedar Road, Dogwood Road, Holly Drive, Pine Road and Poplar Road, all just southeast of 101. A new four-way stop was installed at the intersection of Old Highway 28 and Nine Mile Crossroads.

Smith said the speed limit on 3.6 miles of Simmons Road, between Old Spencer Highway and Griffith Road, will be lowered from 45 mph to 35 mph.

Bledsoe County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Chris Holland said officers will patrol the areas with an eye on the new speed limits. Some of Bledsoe's patrol cars are equipped with radar, he said.

"We'll try to slow them down," Holland said.

Speed-limit changes are the result of petitions brought to the County Commission for action earlier this year, Smith said.

In one twist among the changes, commissioners raised the speed limit on Summer City Road atop Walden's Ridge from 35 mph to 45 mph in response to a petition.

Highway Department office manager Conda Hysell, a former resident of the road, said the increased speed limit doesn't mean the road is any straighter or safer.

"They still need to be careful in the curves," Hysell said.

Several turns along Summer City Road already are posted with yellow signs designating lower speeds through the turns, she said. Drivers should watch out on Summer City Road for slow-moving farm equipment, too. That's good advice for any of Bledsoe's back roads, she said.

Some changes have drawn a few complaints, Smith said, including the new four-way stop.

"I've already taken a good cussing out for it," he said.

Some people don't understand the changes were made at the request of some of their neighbors, he said.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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