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Boulders, not guardrail, will protect house on hairpin turn in Moreau

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MOREAU — Decorative boulders will become a protective element in the front yard of one family’s house on Old West Road.

The house is at a nearly 90-degree turn in the road near Route 9.

Three drunken drivers in the last 16 months have wound up in the front yard after failing to negotiate the turn.

A driver who missed the turn in August crashed into the family’s swingset and was only stopped when he struck a tree.

Town officials considered installing a guardrail, but that would have put the plows in danger. The town right of way there is so narrow that the rail would be next to the road. To make the turn without hitting the rails, plows would have to drive in the center of the road, a risk for oncoming traffic that might whip around that turn.

Supervisor Todd Kusnierz said he didn’t want the plows to have to cross into the oncoming lane. And the property owner didn’t like the idea of a guardrail, anyway.

So he proposed boulders, placed in the front yard with the owner’s permission.

“That is something they’re very much interested in. I think that’s a viable solution,” Kusnierz said.

The next driver who fails to make the turn might not think boulders are preferable to a guardrail. Guardrails are designed to absorb the energy of a crash to bring the car to a stop while giving way so that they don’t injure or kill the driver. Boulders generally stay put.

Still, board members welcomed the idea.

“It’s not such an eyesore and it’s for safety,” said board member Gina LeClair.

Board member John Donohue, who suggested the guardrail originally, said he was happy with the idea.

“I think it’s great, because it’s something they can live with,” he said. “I just don’t want to see any more cars in their front lawn.”

You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on


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