Bridge Construction Emergencies Concern Residents

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JACKSON, Tenn. — West Tennessee road construction has some residents concerned for their safety when first responders are rushing to a scene. Some Madison County residents who live off Highway 70 say the construction that slims the road down to just one lane in two areas is worrisome. “If it was me out here and I’m having a heart attack and need an ambulance, time and minutes count,” resident Randy Law said. “A light stays red 3 minutes and if there’s an ambulance sitting there at a red light with lights on and can’t get through to whoever’s needing them.” TDOT said some cameras can detect motion and traffic flow, but have no way to detect an emergency vehicle coming through. It would be difficult for first responders to get through this construction zone. Drivers said some roads were blocked for more than 10 minutes on Monday. Emergency officials said there’s really nothing emergency vehicles can do to get around all this congestion, but they did say there are some steps drivers can take to make sure everyone stays safe. Trooper Jena Eubanks says the THP is trained to get through tough traffic conditions. “If they’re driving on the 1-lane actually on it, they continue going at a safe speed and when they have access to a 2-lane road to get over on the shoulder to yield to the emergency vehicle,” Eubanks said. Trooper Eubanks also said some people cause more harm than good. “I have seen people who have tried to get out of the way, but do not do it properly and almost cause more damage,” Eubanks said. Law says he’s worried those extra 3 minutes could cost a life. “It takes them long enough to get here anyway when you’re this far out from town, especially without being stopped by a red light,” Law said. TDOT said the projects are estimated to be completed in Madison County by the end of the year, and in Hardeman County by the end of June.

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