DOT upgrading dangerous intersection

Two women died in a crash Thanksgiving Day.

December 21, 2009 8:56:18 PM PST
A tragic accident that took the lives of several people was enough to prompt the DOT to make changes to the intersection of Guess Road and NC-57 in the Caldwell community near Hillsborough in Orange County.

For more than a year, the intersection of Highways 57 and 157 has had a flashing yellow light and just two stop signs.

People living in Caldwell say they've made numerous requests for upgrades to the intersection over the past year.

Convenience store clerk Grace Hannigan says she has seen one too many wrecks at the intersection and some of them have been fatal.

In September 2008, a 22-year-old man was killed. Two months later, two women died after a pick-up truck collided with their Jeep.

Then last month, two women from Georgia were killed on Thanksgiving.

After the crash, the local fire chief told ABC11 Eyewitness News changes were needed at the intersection.

Engineers approved a temporary fix costing $10,000 just a few short weeks ago.

Now the flashing light turns red and two additional stop signs officially make it a four-way stop.

The long term plan is expected to cost about $500,000 and will make room for turn lanes and full traffic signals.

"It's a good thing they're doing something, something needed to be done," Hannigan said. "I don't know what, but this is better than nothing."

DOT officials say safety improvements can take anywhere from six months to a year.

Transportation officials say despite the new features they're still worried drivers on the rural road won't heed the signs.

DOT officials say the traffic signals and turn lanes will be complete by late spring of next year.

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