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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