Washington County VA

New design planned for dangerous intersection

New design planned for dangerous intersection

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. - A dangerous intersection in Washington County, Tennessee could soon receive a facelift in hopes of reducing the number of crashes. 

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is looking to redesign one of the main intersections in the Town of Jonesborough because of the excessive number of wrecks. 

Over 300 cars make the right-hand turn from Boones Creek Road onto Highway 11-E in Jonesborough every hour; unfortunately, many of them crash.  "People are paying attention to the 11-E traffic and they rear-end the people in front of them," describes Major Natalie Hlton from the Jonesborough Police Department. 

News 5 WCYB checked the traffic statistics from the Jonesborough Police Department and learned the intersection of Boones Creek Road and Highway 11-E saw 108 crashes between September 2010 and late February 2013. Many of those wrecks happen in the merge lane onto the highway. 

David New works across the street from the intersection and has seen many of the wrecks first-hand. "I've seen a lot of wrecks," he said. "My wife wrecked in this intersection. It happens a lot." 

Five years ago Jonesborough installed traffic cameras on Highway 11-E; officers say the cameras have helped with the number of crashes on the highway, but this intersection is still a major problem. "It's one of the highest crash [rates] in Jonesborough. We see several crashes a week at that intersection," says Major Hilton. 

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has taken notice and plans to spend between $600,000 and $1 million to redesign the intersection. The biggest change will be the elimination of the merge lane, which will be replaced by a standard turn lane. "I think it's great. I've thought that for long time," says New. 

The plan is still making its way through the study committees, and the plan has been submitted to Nashville for funding.

The majority of the crashes only result in property damage. Of the 108 wrecks studied, only 13 resulted in injuries.

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