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Cole County's Traffic and Safety Committee is considering a change to the county's traffic safety code after complaints about commercial truck traffic on Tanner Bridge Road.

Cole County Public Works Director Larry Benz told the County Commission on Tuesday several residents have complained about heavy trucks going to Meta.

County Attorney Jill Lahue said they are looking to add a section to the code that addresses commercial vehicles, which will lay out the roads they want to address. The traffic commission would have to give its approval before sending it on to the commission for final approval.

Benz said local deliveries would still be allowed. State statute allows for the county to exempt local deliveries, and the county can determine the weight limits on the road, Lahue said.

Cole County Eastern District Commissioner Jeff Hoelscher said he had received a petition from Tanner Bridge Road residents asking for help.

"We've been talking about this problem for a while because the truckers follow their GPS looking for the shortest route to get to their destination, and they use Tanner Bridge," Hoelscher said.

"Right now, our traffic and safety code doesn't allow us to address commercial traffic," Benz said. "Purely off of state statute, the county doesn't have any avenue as long as (truckers) meet state requirements for weight and distribution. This would allow us to at least try to limit that type of traffic from going through there. Until the GPS systems change, we'll continue to have this problem."

The commission also will have to determine what fines would be given for violating the code. The county could implement fines of up to $500, Lahue said.

Benz said they will also consider making some changes to roads in the Osage City area, where there have been similar complaints from residents. Large trucks have gotten stuck on local roads and have torn up the roads in the process of trying to turn around, Benz said.

"We have been able to make reports on those and get the insurance companies to pay for repairs," Hoelscher said. "On Tanner Bridge, they are flying down there, and it's a road that's not big enough for them to be on there."

The traffic and safety committee is scheduled to meet about this matter Oct. 15. If the committee recommends amending the traffic code, it will be sent to the County Commission, who will make the final decision, Benz said.

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