WEIRTON Officials in Weirton are trying to figure out why trucks headed to the Half-Moon Industrial Park are ending up on Marland Heights, a residential area with narrow, windy streets on a hill high above the industrial area.
There is no road linking the two.
Mayor George Kondik and Ward 5 Councilman George Gaughenbaugh say it appears to be a GPS problem, though maps used by the three companies dominating the GPS market Garmin, Magellan and TomTom appear to be correct.
WRONG WAY — Oversized tractor-trailers headed to Weirton's Half-Moon Industrial Park are getting lost on Marland Heights, a problem city officials say has to do with their GPS directions. City officials have installed this sign as a temporary fix. -- Linda Harris
"We've had numerous problems in the last six months with GPS directions for some reason sending Half Moon trucks up Marland Heights Road," Kondik said. "They're tearing out phone lines, tearing up grass."
Gaughenbaugh said one popular theory is that the problem trucks are southbound on Main Street and when GPS alerts them to make a right turn onto Freedom Way, drivers are jumping the gun and turning instead onto Marland Heights Road.
"It seems bizarre that all of a sudden we have trucks coming up here," he said. "We put the sign up as an emergency measure at the bottom of the hill. Maybe with this, more people will be aware of what's happening. If possible, they should get the license plate number or name of a trucking company that's doing damage because they are liable for damage."
For now, temporary warning signs have been erected: one, near the bottom of Marland Heights Road, bluntly warns truckers "this is not the way to the industrial park." The other, located at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Marland Heights Road, is a "truck route" directional sign intended to point truckers in a direction where they can turn around with less risk of doing damage to public and private property.
(Harris can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)