The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Pontotoc County commissioners agreed on a resolution Monday, one they hope will take much of the danger out of a traffic intersection just outside the Ada City Limits.
The vote was 2-0, but that was unanimous, since District 3 Commissioner Justin Roberts was out of town Monday.
Commissioners agreed to a resolution that would allow ODOT to make safety modifications to the intersection located at SH 19/3W and CR 3530 (John Deere Road).
Local government engineer Shelly Williams requested the resolution in order for ODOT to proceed with plan preparation and to then secure funding.
Williams told the commission that according to state records, there have been 70 accidents at that intersection, including seven fatalities in the last 10 years.
Even though the state reduced the speed limit to 50 miles per hour and added yellow intersection warning lights where the two highways come together, accidents are still occurring.
Many motorists continue traveling at 65 miles per hour, and sight distance to that location is limited.
People heading northbound and others heading southbound sometimes meet in the middle.
“There’s a lot of different traffic movements going on there,” Williams said. “In an attempt to make it safer, we will try to limit some of those traffic movements by putting up channelization devices.”
She explained those as tube delineators, which will discourage people from crossing over but won’t hurt anybody if they run into them.
“The safety modifications will include protected turn lanes, the channelization devices and improved sight distance to the intersection. The channelization will provide safety until the motorists are well past the dangerous intersection,”she said.
At that point, she said, people will be able to cross over without causing an accident.
“We’re just trying to provide modifications that will make this intersection safer,” she said. ODOT tried to improve the intersection about five years ago, but it was unable to make those improvements due to concerns over access to local businesses. Williams said until the plans are completed, cost estimates can not be determined, which is why ODOT officials needed the county’s approval. Now they can move forward with plans before seeking funding for the project.