The Issue Of Guardrails Around Canals

The tragic circumstances surrounding the deaths of a grandmother and her granddaughter in Hyde County when their car went off of the road and into a canal begs the question, could a guardrail in that location have made a difference?

Department of Transportation officials say installing guardrails along roads where there are canals is a process that requires a lot of money.

Many of the roads constructed over 50 years ago around the canal areas were raised by dredging material from the actual canal. Add in that construction standards at the time did not require railings at those areas--and you have some deep water next to open road.

John Rouse with the DOT says that the guard rails are good at keeping people out of the canals--but installation and maintenance is costly. "Typically with limited funds what you'd find is you try and address problems where you know you have issues--trying to get the best bang for you buck if you will--if you have an accident history at a certain location then obviously it would make sense to try and protect that area."

Rouse adds that canals aren't the only places you find problems--the need for railings exists at four lane highway medians and old bridges at the approach as well.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by DAUGHTER AND AUNT on Mar 7, 2011 at 08:45 AM
    THIS WAS MY MOM AND MY NIECE THAT DIED IN THIS ACCIDENT. AND I DO NOT APPRIECITATE PEOPLE SAYING "TOO OLD TO DRIVE" MY MOM WAS A PERFECTLY HEALTHY WOMAN. AND IF YOU DONT WANT TO SAY ANYTHING POSITIVE FOR THE GAURD RAILS.... DONT SAY ANYTHING!!!!! THANKS!
  • by Billy Location: Hyde on Mar 6, 2011 at 05:20 PM
    Amazing, what do u expect the state of NC to be able to do.? Some roads in this area were designated for guardrails several years back and some farmers complained that they got in the way of their farm implements so the project was scraped> So I guess u cant please everyone every time. God Bless the families that are adversely affected.
  • by B Location: Md on Mar 5, 2011 at 06:41 PM
    I don't live in NC but I do visit my fam in Tyrrell county and I do agree that guardrails need to be put up around these deep canals...lost a cousin a few years back in one of these deep canals...anything can happen out there. Why not use prison labor? Tax payers are taking care of them anyway.
  • by Wow on Mar 3, 2011 at 07:02 PM
    I think this was a tragic accident. Thats it. There's not even much of a canal where this accident happened, a few more feet to the left and she would have been in a parking lot. The conditions just happened is such a way for her to end up there. Freak accident. Guardrails are helpful in some areas but not in this case nor are they needed all over the county.
  • by Reality Check on Mar 3, 2011 at 12:08 PM
    To: "I Fought the Law" and "Ace": I couldn't agree more. Well said!!!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 3, 2011 at 11:40 AM
    I am all for the guardrails. Idiot tourists speeding and passing and sometimes giving people nowhere to go but in a canal. Many other reasons people end up in them. DO IT IF IT SAVES LIVES.
  • by Mac on Mar 3, 2011 at 09:18 AM
    The Hwy 64 project was b/c of traffic...and the influx of millions of tourist dollars to the OBX. Hyde County does not have this. I wish they would build them on major highways in Hyde County. But that would not have saved Marva and Aleanna. They were on a side road that has a minimum amount of traffic. The speed limit is either 35 or 45 on Oyster Creek Rd so in terms of risk factors, I doubt the DOT would even place one on this road if a mandate did come down. It is just one of those things that happen.
  • by HydeCoMom Location: Hyde Co. on Mar 3, 2011 at 09:18 AM
    I don't understand how approving this is an issue! If they can dish out money to fix hotels and other buildings that NOBODY lives in, in Hyde just to attract tourism, WHY CAN'T THEY PUT THE MONEY TOWARDS LIGHTING THE STREETS BETTER, PUTTING UP GUARD RAILS, REFLECTORS THE LINE THE ROADS, AND ROAD SIGNS TO WARN OF POTENTIAL DANGEROUS CURVES!!! As for the rest of the comments. DO NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS UPON SOMETHING YOU DO NOT KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY TO! You do not know what happened, so for you to comment your opinion is rather rude! Have some tact, the family members of these two victims read this...be careful how you word things and what you say! Put yourself in their shoes and think before you post!
  • by ace Location: j ville on Mar 3, 2011 at 06:27 AM
    You cannot protect us from ourselves. What is going to happen if someone runs off the side of a mountain? At some point we must except potential danger, prepare for it, and accept responsibilit for our actions.
  • by Carmine Location: Washington on Mar 3, 2011 at 04:38 AM
    If Hyde County can afford to dike up most of downtown Swan Quarter so that flood waters don't hit them, to be sure they can find the funds to put up guard railings. They are building a dike that will send flood waters to other parts of the county to protect downtown Swan Quarter. It makes no sense to sacrifice one part of the couunty for another. I don't understand why people aren't up in arms about that. If a big hurricane comes, people who live outside of that dike are gonna be so screwed!!! Find the money and put guard rails up for crying out loud.
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