ALDOT says they're looking into 'dangerous' Madison intersection

ALDOT says they're looking into 'dangerous' Madison intersection

LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Representatives from the Alabama Department of Transportation said Tuesday that they were aware of the Highway 72 and Burgreen Road/Dupree Worthey Road intersection and would begin to look into it.

This comes after another Madison man said the intersection is too dangerous for his family to travel.

Thomas Jarrell and his family have lived two minutes from the intersection for more than 20 years. He said he and his wife avoid the intersection when leaving their neighborhood, and he required their children to take County Line road out as they were growing up.

"The buses go through there, and we decided pretty early we would drive our kids to school because it's just so dangerous going across that intersection," he said.

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Brandon Bennett, 22, died in June after colliding on his motorcycle with two cars at the intersection.

Jarrell said he and his wife came upon the accident, and his wife started crying.

"That boy was the same age as my oldest son. What if it had been him?" he said.

It's unclear how many other accidents there have been at the intersection, but WAFF 48 News found reports of fatal collisions dating back to 2005.

Jarrell said WAFF 48's story on Saturday is causing him to speak out.

"If a serial killer had been that active, in that time period, the FBI would have spent millions of dollars in that trying to track this person down. We know where the killer is. You know? Let's end this," he said.

The Alabama Department of Transportation North Region hired a consultant in 2017 to create traffic reports for trouble areas around the region.  The department has records of a 3-mile stretch that includes the intersection, but it is closed by state and federal law.

Jarrell said he wants to see a stoplight at the intersection to curb accidents.

For that to happen, the Limestone County Commission would need to request a traffic study from ALDOT, which could take weeks to schedule.

Officials from both ALDOT and Limestone County said the commission has not made such a request for a study yet.

Limestone County Commissioner Steve Turner agreed to an interview with WAFF 48 News Wednesday.

If and when a study is performed, ALDOT will use the results to suggest solutions.

If ALDOT determines a stoplight is needed, its installation would require coordination between the department and the county. Highway 72 is a state road and the Limestone County maintains Burgreen Road and Dupree Worthey Road.

The county would assume maintenance costs of the stoplight if and when it is installed.

North region public information officer Seth Burkett said a number of the traffic accidents at the intersection are beyond the control of engineers (DUI's, speeding) and a traffic light might not be the answer.

"A signal often times increases the number of crashes, and can even increase the severity of crashes, depending on the situation," he said.

Burkett said the department would take the information from the consultant's report and begin to review the intersection.

Limestone County Engineer Bryant Moss said he has talked to Turner about possible solutions that aren't stoplights.

"One that might work in that situation is a right-in, right-out only type of re-design of that intersection. People would not be able to go straight across, North-South, across that intersection," he said.

Turner said that he was concerned about the cost of possible solutions.

Burkett said it could cost around $120,000 to put a stoplight on a four-lane highway like Highway 72, and that there would be a cost-sharing agreement between ALDOT and the county.

Limestone County Engineer Bryant Moss said traditionally, the local state representative for the area helps secure state funding for a stoplight on a state road.

Speaker Mac McCutcheon, R-Limestone County, said he wasn't available for an interview, but would be meeting with the ALDOT Wednesday to discuss solutions and possible funding for a stoplight.

Jarrell said he's happy McCutcheon is taking action, but wants to keep the pressure on.

"I'm going to start to become personally involved, and try to do something to get this to taken care of. There needs to be a light there, there is no reason for there not to be one."

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