Council lowers speed limit on Highway 55, Motlow Barns during TDOT construction

speed limit sign on Motlow Barns Road
Metro Highway Department officials were out early Tuesday morning changing the speed limit signs on Motlow Barns Road. The Metro Council voted to reduced it on Monday night along with a section of Highway 55 currently under construction. (A Lynchburg Times Photo)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — It took three rounds of motions and a ton of discussion, but on Monday night, the Metro Council voted unanimously to lower the speed limit on Highway 55 in front of Moore County High School and Motlow Barns Road while the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) widens the highway to install a turn lane at Goodbranch Road.

Metro Council member and Moore County Sheriff’s Deputy Douglas Carson originally made the motion to lower the speed limit on both roads to 30 miles per hour. Dexter Golden seconded his motion.

During open discussion, Bradley Dye stated that he thought 30 miles per hour on the highway was too slow.

“There was a tractor today traveling from near the square towards Jiffy Mart going maybe 25 or 27 miles per hour and he had traffic backed up all the way to the red light.” he stated.

Members Arvis Bobo and Peggy Sue Blackburn echoed his concerns.

“School traffic is about to get much worse and people are using Motlow Barns Road to avoid the construction zone,” Sheriff Tyler Hatfield stated. “We’re just trying to get ahead of it.”

Metro law enforcement say they’ve received an increasing number of speeding complaints on Motlow Barns Road in the past couple of weeks.

Eventually, they compromised. As you leave Lynchburg on Highway 55, the speed limit changes from 30 miles per hour to 45 miles per hours near the south entrance to Motlow Barns Road. Through the duration of the construction, the speed limit will remain 45 mph from the south entrance to Motlow Barns Road to the north entrance to Motlow Barns Road along Highway 55. The speed limit on Motlow Barns Road will also be lowered from 45 mph to 30 mph.

A strict 30 mph speed limit will continue to be enforced inside the school zone once classes resume in August.

The Metro Highway Department will post signs as soon as Tuesday and the Moore County Sheriff’s Department will also post the digital speed sign trailer near the area to give drivers ample warning. Drivers should also expect enhanced enforcement in the area.

The two mile stretch of local road will return to their previous speed limit once construction concludes, but local highway officials say that project will be measured in “years not months.” •

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