Osceola works to improve safety at busy intersection

Updated: Jun. 5, 2019 at 8:39 PM CDT
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OSCEOLA, Ark. (KAIT) - A busy intersection in Osceola is becoming infamous for wrecks.

Now city leaders are searching for ways to improve safety.

It is the intersection of Highway 140 and Country Club Road, which is west of Walmart right beside the First Baptist Church in Osceola.

It has been a spot of concern for several years.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation even performed a traffic study in 2017, but the number of cars passing through did not warrant a traffic signal at that time.

Council member Tyler Dunegan told Region 8 News that they have seen about 45 wrecks at that intersection in the past couple of years.

The city is now working closely with the state to figure out how to improve safety.

“We want to get it done quickly so no one else will get hurt or killed out there,” former state representative Joe Harris Jr. said.

“We don’t want to see any more accidents,” Dunegan said. “We have school buses that come through this intersection every day, my family drives through this intersection every day, and they’re put at risk and so we’re asking the state to help us with that, they’ve listened to us but we haven’t seen action.”

The city has even offered to pay for any costs for improvements, requesting a traffic light, caution light, or even an added turn lane.

Brad Smithee with ARDOT says that the intersection has to meet certain requirements for those changes, even if funding is available through outside sources.

Smithee plans to ask the city to discuss holding another traffic study to figure out if there has been a large enough increase to warrant changes.

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