County attorney cautions against calling roads around West Ridge ‘unsafe’

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BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Sullivan County Attorney Dan Street is cautioning county officials against calling the roads near West Ridge High School “unsafe.”

Street did so during last Thursday’s Sullivan County Commission meeting, during which commissioners approved a resolution authorizing the highway department to make improvements to Lynn Road, which runs in front of the new high school.

“We really can’t refer to the roads as ‘unsafe’ because that has legal connotations,” Street told News Channel 11 on Monday. “We can improve every road in Sullivan County. We can make roads more convenient, we can widen them, we can improve on them. We can do that to pretty much every road in the county. But to call them unsafe carries a lot of baggage with it.”

“If it is not unsafe, according to the experts and the reasonable minds, but we can improve on it, then we need to quit calling it unsafe.”

A potential access road to the new school has raised questions, sparked debate, and led to tension between the county commission and the school board.

The school board will meet Thursday to discuss another access road proposal involving a school-owned private drive connecting to Henry Harr Road instead of Jericho Drive as originally proposed.

West Ridge will open this fall with an expected enrollment of around 1,700 students.

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