Residents concerned about child safety as construction trucks back into neighborhood without spotters

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MADISON, Ala. – While neighborhoods see construction work all the time, some parents on this block are concerned about recent work. Not because workers are making too much noise, or taking too long but because they are driving big trucks onto the block in reverse with no guidance.

One resident says several children under the age of seven play in these front yards.

Lisel Powell, her husband and children moved to Coach Lamp Drive in Madison a few years ago. “We specifically bought because it was a one entrance, dead-end street.”

She said that changed and some neighbors tried to fight it.

“Last year we found out that they were going to punch through what was our culdesac and make it a through road to this new neighborhhood.

Joey Harbaugh of Harbaugh and Sons Construction company were contracted for the new development.

Harbaugh said they were very well aware that some neighbors were unhappy, but after all they were just fulfilling a job through the city.

“Some of the people went to the planning commission and said, ‘we don’t want increased traffic coming through our neighborhood. Our children play out in the street,'” explained Harbaugh.

Harbaugh said city officials responded by telling those residents that city streets are not playgrounds.

Powell argues kids were used to playing in a low traffic culdesac. Even if parents tell them to stay out of the street, they sometimes disobey.

For the past year Powell said construction trucks have been backing supplies into her neighborhood for the new Willow Creek area.

Construction is finishing up and she said she confronted one of the drivers Monday.

“I pulled up next to him. I asked him to roll down his window and said, ‘hey, you need a spotter when you’re doing this.’ He just rolled his eyes and slammed his door in my face,” added Powell.

Harbaugh and Sons says those drivers may just be companies contracted to deliver supplies.

“There’s multiple different companies that supply materials,” explained Harbaugh. “They have their own trucks or they may have leased trucks that they hire to deliver materials.”

Powell said regardless of who is driving these trucks, this is a matter of public safety.

“I don’t know if its going to take a kid getting hit? A kid dying? And nobody will listen, nobody cares.”

Powell added that she worked for a construction company in another state where having spotters and flaggers at construction sites was the norm.

WHNT News 19 reached out to Madison County commissioner Steve Haraway for more information regarding resident complaints in that area, he has not yet responded.

WHNT News 19 also reached out to the City of Madison for guidance on ordinances and codes for truck drivers in residential areas. We have not yet heard back from the city.

Powell said regardless of regulations or the lack thereof, it doesn’t hurt to be more careful.

“Maybe its not code, but it sure is good practice.”

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