NOVEMBER 1, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:00 P.M. CST
CARDWELL, AR -- Since the newly-modified intersection at U.S. Highway 412 and Missouri Highway AC in Cardwell opened weeks ago, motorists have been slowing down. But it's not because they are trying to use caution, the drivers say they don't know which way to go.
"If you're coming off of AC Highway and trying to go 412 West and someone is trying to exit off of 412 to try to come south, there's no distinct determination of who has the right-of-way or which way you need to go," says Dale McClelland, a Cardwell resident.
Dale McClelland and his wife Sherry have lived in Cardwell for years. They previously used the intersection daily, but since the new construction opened, they say they've started to take alternate routes.
"My wife and 2 children have almost got hit in that intersection. I myself have almost got hit in that intersection and my wife will actually take a back road to avoid this intersection because it's so dangerous," says McClelland.
The Missouri State Highway Department told us that improvements such as this new left turn lane off of 412 have decreased the risk at this intersection, but locals say they still have their concerns.
"They've improved the traffic situation tremendously. I will agree with that, but my only complaint is just with that intersection. It's dangerous and I think anybody that goes through that intersection can see that you don't really know what you need to do," says McClelland.
Yield, stop, or keep on going, McClelland says he just wishes the state highway department would make it more clear for the drivers.
"I fear that there's going to be a lot of wrecks and I hate to see anybody injured and definitely anybody killed in an accident there. I just feel like it's a really dangerous intersection and something needs to be done there," adds McClelland.
We spoke with the Missouri Department of Transportation Wednesday. They released this statement regarding the intersection concerns saying quote "We feel that we have greatly improved safety in this area. We've replaced conflict points with a single intersection now that the project has been built. Now, instead of left turning vehicles stopping traffic along the divided highway, deceleration and turn lanes are there to allow the vehicles to get out of the traffic stream."