Police keep close eye on new Highway 18 bypass
MONETTE, AR (KAIT) - The newly opened Highway 18 bypass has some drivers confused on the heavily-traveled Thanksgiving week in Monette.
The confusion particularly comes at the intersection of the new bypass and Highway 139.
According to Monette Police Chief Brian Carmichael, when stop signs went up at the intersection, things got confusing.
"Highway 139 has always been from Monette to the Missouri state line where traffic was free-flow for many years," Carmichael said. "We've never had stop signs."
He said once the stop signs went up, people were not ready for them.
"Once the stops signs were open, drivers weren't prepared to stop," he said. "They just kept going."
Police spent several hours at the intersection making traffic stops to educate drivers how dangerous the intersection could be if they did not pay close attention to the new traffic patterns.
However, no one has been given a ticket.
On Wednesday, traffic flow was smoother, but Carmichael said a heavy police presence will remain in the area.
"We've had some county officers and some state police out this morning along with the Monette Police Department," he said. "We are trying to maintain safe speeds for everyone."
Carmichael said the city is also working to make the intersection safer by working with local electric companies to install lighting at the intersection and along the new bypass.
"Right now, at this intersection, at night it's completely dark," he said. "They do have stripes put in to show drivers where to stop, but there's no lighting. It's just pitch black."
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