DOT's Plans Not Enough for Deadly Intersection - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/21/05

DOT's Plans Not Enough for Deadly Intersection

As construction begins on a deadly intersection, many aren't happy with the plans to change it. The campaign started last fall after a teenager died on her way to school. People aren't satisfied with the DOT's plans. They don't think it's enough. They say the state doesn't know this corner like they do.

James Jones is interested in traffic and the changes being made at the very busy and sometimes deadly intersection of Highway 67 and Highway 46.

"If it helps, it will help very, very little," he said of the DOT's plans. "I don't think anything will help except a big red light."

But that is not coming. Just work to replace ditches with turn lanes and make the intersection 90 degrees. Recently, the DOT announced it would four-lane 67 in the next two to three years. People want to know, if it's busy enough to four-lane, why isn't it busy enough for a stop light?

One of those asking is Tessa Martin, and with good reason. Her daughter died in a crash there last fall. The DOT told her Highway 67 had enough traffic for a light but Highway 46 did not.

"It's like the ones on 46 don't count," she said. "We have to pass through there every day. It doesn't seem fair."

Watching the traffic flow, Jones  told us, "That's six cars on 46 onto 67 in the last 30 or 40 seconds. I've been counting. There's one onto 46, another onto 46."

For him, the count he's taking today is not just of cars passing by. "Each of those crosses over there represents a human life lost that didn't have to be," he said. 

Jones just hopes it doesn't take another tragedy to change it.

Tessa Martin says she's asked Bulloch County's commissioners to lower the speed limit through the intersection to 45 miles an hour. Commissioners told her they'll ask the DOT to research the spot again to see if that would help.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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