Nearly 500 crashes prompt safety changes on U.S. Highway 54

9 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago Tuesday, November 01 2016 Nov 1, 2016 Tuesday, November 01, 2016 1:22:00 PM CDT November 01, 2016 in News
By: Jacob Kornhauser, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY — A 100-mile stretch of U.S Highway 54 from Mexico to Camdenton will undergo safety changes after a MoDOT audit of the area, which saw nearly 500 crashes in the past five years. 

Three types of accidents were identified in the audit: wrong way, curve and cross-median.

MoDOT Central District Engineer David Silvester said putting up additional road signs would help prevent more wrong-way crashes. 

"We're talking about 'Do Not Enter' and 'Wrong Way' signs. We're going to look to put these up with our own forces, and we're going to put them at intersections, at interchanges, and on shoulders," Silvester said. 

Even though nine of 10 wrong-way crashes, causing 11 fatalities, were a result of impaired drivers, Silvester said additional signs could be useful.

"I believe that anything we do to stop any driver that may not be under impairment, or perhaps the person that is under impairment that this might actually get some of their attention," Silvester said. 

Sgt. Scott White of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said it is difficult to control how people drive, even with  warning signs. 

"We cannot engineer driver inattention, speeding, or driving too fast for the road conditions out of every curve, ramp, or long stretch of highway," White said. 

He said it is ultimately up to drivers to stay safe on the roads.

"Simply put: we need the driver's help. The only 100 percent survivable traffic crash is the one that never happens," White said. 

The audit's proposed solution for crashes along curves is to add more signs ahead of sharp curves as well as add high-friction surface treatment to seven high-risk curves. 

Silvester said high-friction surface treatment on several other Missouri roads has reduced out-of-control crashes by 90 percent. 

For cross-median crashes, the audit proposes installing guard cables in separate areas on U.S. Highway 54.

"We identified the guard-cable areas along the corridor, and because of the expanse and expense of guard cables, we're going to divide this up into three areas," Silvester said. 

The three areas include: from Jefferson City to Kingdom City, from Osage Beach to Camdenton and from Jefferson City to Osage Beach.

Silvester said guard cables cost $125,000 per mile, but he was not sure exactly how much the state would need in order to install the cables on the three stretches that were identified as problematic.

The timeline for when these changes will start being implemented depends on whether or not MoDOT determines it can fund the work itself or if it needs to hire a contractor to help with the work. 

[Editor's note: the stretch of road has been changed from "Jefferson City to Camdenton" to "Mexico to Camdenton"]

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 News sat down Wednesday with University of Missouri political science professor Cooper Drury to get an... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 8:36:00 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
SEDALIA - The total solar eclipse will attract huge crowds to mid-Missouri, but the last time there was a massive... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 7:35:00 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police released the results of an autopsy investigation following the death of a 4-year-old boy in May, ruling... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 4:15:00 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Local healthcare providers and state representatives met at a town hall Wednesday to discuss fallout from Gov. Eric... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 3:58:00 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Ameren Missouri looked to educate the Columbia Fire Department about natural gas and how to find signs of... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 3:18:00 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday a Columbia man pleaded guilty for his role in a plan to smuggle... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 3:10:40 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Several of Missouri's legislators responded Wednesday to the violence from Charlottesville over the weekend. KOMU 8 News... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 1:24:00 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager will soon limit the number and strength of opioid... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 1:15:51 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
LADDONIA - Water issues have recently erupted for the around 500 residents of the small town of Laddonia in... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 1:01:00 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A black firefighters organization has settled its 2015 lawsuit against the city of St. Louis over... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 12:06:55 PM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Public Service Commission denied grant approval of the Grain Belt Express Clean Line that would... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 11:35:00 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Policies for prep sports in Missouri are among the safest in the country, according to a new report... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 11:05:00 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in Continuous News
CREVE COEUR (AP) — With his suburban St. Louis meeting with the Israeli ambassador as a backdrop, Missouri's first Jewish... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 10:57:00 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
FULTON - The President of William Woods University announced Wednesday that the university's main campus in Fulton will be closed... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 10:40:00 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in Eclipse Impact
COLUMBIA - Police officers responded to a report of a shooting on Greensboro Drive around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. Officers... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 10:18:00 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA — Two organizations will host a town hall on Wednesday to discuss the impacts of Gov. Eric Greitens' veto... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 10:10:00 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Treasurer Eric Schmitt says he's backing fellow Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley to run... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 9:41:00 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a woman has been arrested on charges of embezzling more than $2 million while... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, August 16 2017 Aug 16, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 9:25:45 AM CDT August 16, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
11pm 71°
12am 75°
1am 73°
2am 73°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
10:30p
The King of Queens
11:00p
Rules of Engagement
11:30p
Rules of Engagement

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
8:00p
Marlon
8:30p
Marlon
9:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld