When will there be a weather gate at Buck’s Pocket State Park?

Trouble with Buck's Pocket Gate

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WAFF) - Work is underway to protect drivers from what can be a deadly stretch of road in Jackson County.

County Commissioners and Buck’s Pocket State park officials agree, a gate is needed to keep people off what can be a dangerous bridge during flooding conditions.

Last year, two people died after their cars were swept off the road by flood waters.

The county commission agreed to help pay for a gate, but there was debate over who should be responsible for closing the gate during severe weather.

“We’re not out there all the time. We would have to send a sheriff deputy to close or open the gate and there was no clear path in the contract to say they go open the gate or close the gate,” said Jason Venable, District 2 Commissioner.

Venable said he and the commission believe it should be the responsibility of the park.

“They are there and if they see a need for it to be closed, they will have better knowledge than we would to monitor it,” said Venable.

In addition to the proposal, Venable said the commission wants the gate to meet all ALDOT safety standards.

The commissioner’s concerns are now finalized in a new contract. Venable said he is happy to work with state park officials to keep people safe.

“All the way back to at least to the 70′s there have been multiple incidents there. I don’t know the exact number, but several deaths due to drowning and getting swept off the road. So, we definitely see a need for some access control, we just want to be safe as possible and make sure were not adding a false sense of security,” said Venable.

Right now, there is no timetable on when the gate will be installed. We have contacted park officials for an update.

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