Forest Acres Drive Guardrail Update
Many of you are aware that a section of Forest Acres Drive collapsed during the flood in May 2010. This collapse was due to the deterioration of two large drainage culverts running under the roadway. The City of Oak hill was fortunate to obtain FEMA funding to repair the damaged road. During the construction process, our traffic engineer became concerned about the safety of motorists due to the possibility that an automobile could drop off the shoulder of the road. Prior to the construction, a good deal of natural vegetation acted as a barrier along the roadway. Much of the vegetation had to be removed so construction equipment could make repairs. The shoulder of the road also had to be stabilized with large rock.
After receiving approval from FEMA for additional funding to install the guardrail, the City began to move forward with the project. While recognizing the need for a guardrail, the City was also concerned about how standard galvanized guardrail would look at this location. Several citizens expressed their concern about the guardrail appearance as well. As a result, the City searched other options for addressing both the safety and aesthetic issues. The search led us to a wooden guardrail product that seemed ideal for this location because it combined the safety of motorists with the natural wooded surroundings found on that street.
Recently, the City had hoped to use the same type of product to replace part of the guardrail on Battery Lane, but we were unable to do so. There are limitations to the safety rating of the wooden guardrail and traffic engineers advised against using it at this location due to traffic volume and the speed limit on this road. However, we will continue to consider this option for future locations where guardrails may need to be replaced.