Dangerous intersection to get an improvement

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 11:52 PM CDT
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MONETTE, Ark. (KAIT) - The Arkansas Department of Transportation is considering installing a traffic light at the intersection of Highways 18 and 139 north of Monette.

Jessica Hogan, a Jordan’s Kwik Shop clerk, said two crashes occurred at the intersection on Wednesday.

“We probably have two wrecks per week around this area and in front of the store,” she said. “It’s really scary.”

A study of the intersection showed that roughly 10,000 cars travel along Highway 18 and 2,000 cars travel down Highway 139.

The current speed limit is 60 miles per hour through the intersection.

“It’s the speed limit, and people don’t slow down at all,” said Kevin Baldridge, a resident. “There are just so many accidents with the Jordan’s being here and the nursing home over here and the factory across the street.”

Hogan has worked at Jordan’s for over a year. In that time, she’s had her fair share of scares. As a result, she’s hesitant to allow her 16-year-old son Aiden Anderson to drive through the intersection.

“Mom has been afraid of me driving in general, but the one thing that stressed her out the most is driving through that intersection,” Anderson said.

He also works at the convenience store and has witnessed multiple crashes there.

ArDOT has been scoping out the area for a potential traffic light, even running radar to figure out the average speed of vehicles through the intersection.

They concluded that vehicles ran 5 to 7 miles an hour over the posted speed limit.

The project is still up in the air, but if they decide to move forward, the process will not begin for at least 18 to 24 months.

Monette Mayor Bob Blankenship said funding would be the key to this possible project, with the city expected to pay 10 percent of the costs.

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