Ark. Highway Realignment to Reduce Crashes

An estimated $500,000 and $750,000 will be spent on the project.

📅   Wed November 11, 2015 - Southeast Edition
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An intersection on U.S. 65 in southeastern Arkansas is getting realigned in an effort to give drivers better sight lines and reduce fatal crashes.
An intersection on U.S. 65 in southeastern Arkansas is getting realigned in an effort to give drivers better sight lines and reduce fatal crashes.

DERMOTT, Ark. (AP) An intersection on U.S. 65 in southeastern Arkansas is getting realigned in an effort to give drivers better sight lines and reduce fatal crashes.

An estimated $500,000 and $750,000 will be spent to redevelop the intersection with Arkansas Highway 35, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

The Arkansas Highway Commission formally authorized prep work for the project in north Chicot County in September. The state’s Highway and Transportation Department said design and construction “will begin as soon as funds become available.’’

An analysis of crashes at the intersection showed there were three crashes involving a fatality or serious injury between 2008 and 2012. There have been another five such crashes since 2012, said Jessie Jones with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

The latest fatal crash happened July 17.

The intersection is at an unusually skewed angle of about 70 degrees. Similar intersections that were realigned have seen a reduction in crashes, according to a 2014 memo from Tony Sullivan, the department’s state maintenance engineer at the time.

A request from highway commission member Robert Moore Jr. of Arkansas City led to the study recommending realignment.

“The results of the safety study determined that the realignment of this intersection would increase safety for motorists,’’ Moore said. “Realigning the intersection to 90 degrees will increase driver visibility, resulting in a safer intersection and fewer accidents at this location.’’

The project is eligible for federal funding.