Terrace Heights business concerned over road safety - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Terrace Heights business concerned over road safety

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YAKIMA, Wash. --  A Terrace Heights company is concerned over construction trucks not following the rules of the road.

Curtis Odoms, plant manager for All American Propane, claims crews going down the dead end roadway of S. Keys Road are putting his drivers and others in danger.

"The issue is of the contractor trucks actually running the stop sign and failing to yield for oncoming traffic," says Odoms, adding "If one of these trucks did not stop, the collision that would happen with one of these trucks would be catastrophic."

Odoms also says he and his employees have had 'close calls' on a daily basis. "I personally have had upwards to 4 or 5 instances where they've pulled out in front of me, and tried to back into me."

The trucks are contracted through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"We have regular safety briefs to ensure that none of the public is injured, and that they're following the proper safety guidelines on the road, as well," defends Travis Hightower, construction manager for the Army Corps of Engineers, when asked about how they handle safety concerns.

"The issues that we addressed with them was being a little more cautious of the contractors, sub-contractors out here on the road, and apparently it's fallen on deaf ears," said Odoms.

KNDO asked Hightower why no one would speak to Odoms about his concerns, he responded saying, "When he (Odoms) addresses any of our personnel, he's always angry or even speaks violently. So we have gone to the approach to avoid contact with him." Hightower went on to explain, "I have no problem sitting down and listening to his concerns or complaints about the project, if he came in a rational manner and wanted to express his concerns."

"They haven't had any impact on us other than the muddy roads," said Jesse Oliver, operations manager for Eagle Sign located down the road from the propane company. "It's just the price you pay for improvements."

Crews are building a nearly 3,900 foot setback levee; this after floods in 2011 damaged the existing levee along the Yakima River near Sportsman State Park. The levee will help open up the area for vegetation and help with the wildlife habitat.

The $2.9 million federally-funded project is expected to be complete by the end of next week.

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