OAK GROVE, Ark.- Fire fighters are warning the Pulaski County judge, that if he follows through on allowing a plan for I-40 construction, and the closure of a major road, people’s lives will be on the line.
Short Marche Road is scheduled for complete closure next month, in preparation for a new Maumelle interchange on interstate 40.
Officials at Oak Grove Fire Dept. wrote a letter Wednesday, to judge Barry Hyde, saying they’re concerned for the many people who live there, because if there is an emergency, they won’t be able to get there quickly by any other way.
Karyn Cash, Asst. Fire Chief and PIO for the department, said she sent the letter to the judge “simply because safety is our number one concern of our citizens.”
There are two routes in which the approximate 300 residents in the area can be reached. and since the Union Pacific Railway way runs right through the region, that often leaves just one route open- Short Marche Road.
“In the event of significant weather, flooding, trains do block our means of entrance into those areas,” Cash added.
Waiting on trains to pass costs precious, life-saving minutes. and the flooding that recently happened in May and June is a prime example of how first responders already have difficulty reaching people out there, in emergency situations.
As of Thursday, judge Hyde has yet to respond to the fire departments plea to stop and it looks like plans for the closure are still underway.