Ramsey Mountain to Get New Signs

November 29, 2006--Posted at 6:00 p.m. CST

BATESVILLE, AR--Two weeks ago an Ohio truck driver died on Highway 167 in Batesville when his truck overturned on Ramsey Mountain.

The curvy roadway has been the site of a number of major accidents that have forced the road's closure in both directions.

At Corrine's Scenic View Restaurant in Batesville you can have that pie in the sky.

"We have a lot of people who come up here to eat for the view, along with the good food too," said Chester Tate, one of the owner's of the restaurant.

Their location atop Ramsey Mountain along Highway 167 has a direct effect on business.

"Whenever the traffic is flowing, business is great. Because people come up here to watch the traffic come by and eat, but whenever we have accidents on this mountain it shuts us down," said Tate.

According to the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, over 20,000 cars travel this road a day. It's not the number of accidents on this road, it's the severity and the crippling effect it has on the transportation in the area.

"It goes from a day of profit to a day of loss," said Tate.

When a truck overturns on the mountain it can block traffic for more than two hours in both directions. While signs are already present alerting motorists that the steep hill is coming up, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is taking additional steps it hopes will alert drivers even more.

"We've decided to improve the signing by putting up some down hill truck symbols with the percent grade on it with the speed limit of 35 on it," said District Five Engineer Lyndal Waits.

In addition, flashing beacons on the signs along the road have been proposed.

The Scenic View Restaurant just hopes motorists will be able to see the signs as clearly as the view out the back of their restaurant.

"I think it would make a difference in profits and losses for us...if they pay attention to the signs, but the reality is they do already have the signs. If they don't pay attention, extra signs aren't going to be any better," said Tate.

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department says in the last three years at least six, 18 wheelers have overturned on Ramsey Mountain in addition to countless other accidents.

The department hopes to begin installing the news signs in the next couple of weeks.