Statistics Reflect Top Accident Location in Columbia

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COLUMBIA - A construction site near the Columbia Mall is getting some attention after a two car collision last Thursday.

It may seem like more accidents happen at the intersection of Stadium Boulevard and Bernadette Drive, however statistics prove this intersection has seen more accidents than any other intersection in Columbia.

According to Columbia Police Department records, the Stadium and Bernadette intersection was number one for five out of seven consecutive years. 

 "That location there has been one of the top accident locations in the city for quite some time now," said Public Relations Supervisor Sergeant Joe Bernhard with the Columbia Police Department. That's one of the reasons we are redoing the stadium corridor to try and make that intersection and that whole corridor from basically I-70 and Broadway safer because there are a lot of accidents in that location."

However, Joe Alder, a former member of the Columbia Safety Council, feels like the recent construction is partially responsible for all the recent accidents."Hazards that existed before the construction began still exist, and some new hazards have been created by the new construction project itself," said Alder.

Allen Knapp was working at Petro Mart last Thursday when the most recent accident happened and said he remembers "two or three accidents within the last month."

Alder believes some of the dim traffic lights and un-clear markings may play a roll in some of the accidents.

"There are pylons marking the different directions of traffic, but there is no sign with an arrow to clearly delineate where a drive needs to go when they are making a left turn," said Alder. "It is especially difficult at night."

In 2011, 75 accidents occurred at Stadium and Bernadette. The runners up for top accident locations are the Providence and Nifong intersection with 58 accidents and the Stadium and Providence intersection with 44.

"It's something that has been needed for a long time and the diverging diamond would both make this whole stretch of roadway; the Stadium corridor safer and able to handle more traffic," said Alder.