If you drive through Crawford County, right now part of Highway 80 West near Roberta is closed, and will be for the next six months. Contractors hired by the state Department of Transportation are working to replace a culvert with a concrete bridge. While crews are working hard on the road one man is working hard to keep drivers safe in that area. Our Yvonne Thomas introduces you to Jody Smith.
A part of Highway 80 West near Roberta is closed for repairs. While contractors are hard at work fixing an open drain, resident Jody Smith says he sees another problem. “I can see them from my porch,” said Smith. “A whole lot of them get crossed up.”
Many truck drivers passing through don't know that this road is closed. But instead of watching from his home, Smith gets out in the street, helping drivers get on the right path. “I run down here and give them some help,” said Smith. “Trucker's got to stick together. I'm a trucker myself. You know, I just try to help them out.”
Smith says he has more than 20 years of experience, and he says it can be dangerous to turn around in such a narrow spot. “It gets pretty tight in here you know,” said Smith. “Especially when the trucks come back to back.”
And Smith says it can be dangerous to turn around in such a narrow spot. “It’s not gone stop us,” said Smith. “We got to do what we got to do to get from point A to point B.”
And for people who aren't familiar with the county, Smith says he knows these roads like the back of his hand. “I tell 'em to make a right, travel over yonder, and get back on the main road to Highway 80,” said Smith.
Smith says he's not doing this for money, or recognition, He says it’s his duty to make the loads these trucks carry just a little lighter.
Crawford County Sheriff Lewis Walker says drivers can use State Routes 128 or 3, and US Highway 19 as detours.