Published June 3, 2015

County Commission says no to closing Sconyers Road

Courtesy The Wiregrass Farmer

A request from Sconyers Gin to close Sconyers Road, a short road that connects Highway 41 and Industrial just north of Sycamore was rejected last week by the County Commission without a vote.

Commissioner Daryl Hall argued against closing the road because it is needed and used. Mr. Hall works at Gray Distribution on Industrial.

“It will create total chaos for us,” Mr. Hall said of closing the road. “We’re constantly routing trucks that are lost (on that road). The GPS system are not picking up all the address on that road.”

Mr. Hall referred to a decision some time back to change the parts of Industrial Boulevard that are in Ashburn and Sycamore to the name Randall Whiddon. The move was made to honor the late Mr. Whiddon who served in the County EMS for many years. He was killed on the job in a wreck while working in another county.

GPS units do not always show the road name change, leading to confusion among truck drivers who rely on GPS and street signs to get to their destinations.

If the road is closed, “we’d have to go find trucks,” Mr. Hall said. “We need that road. People don’t understand how it’s screwed up. That road needs to be open. He suggested posting fork lift crossing signs.

“There are other people who use that road,” Mr. Hall said. “There is something about the GPS system, the satellite system, since that road change. So many are not picking up the addresses on the road. It is not working.’

“It is easy to get lost in Sycamore,” Commissioner Nick Denham said.

After a laugh, Commissioner Hall said, “We need to find a way to accommodate Sconyer’s Gin with signs, speed bumps, whatever. Don’t close the road.”

County Manager Mary Wynn brought a letter from Tim Floyd, representing Sconyer’s Gin, to the Commission. The letter said gin employees cross the road on fork lifts. Mr. Floyd said this creates a safety issue.

That launched a separate discussion on whether or not fork lifts should be allowed to travel along county roads.

“Fork lifts should not be on public roads anyway. They are not a tagged vehicle,” Mr. Hall said.

Tractors are routinely seen on Turner County roads and they are not tagged. Georgia law does allow off-road vehicles like tractors on public roads, but they have to have “slow moving vehicle” indicators. The state driver’s license manual says a license is not required either. It reads in part, “Any person driving or operating a farm tractor or farm equipment temporarily operated on a highway for the purpose of conducting farm business;” Under this rule, fork lifts used to carry farm products are probably allowed on the road.

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