ON YOUR SIDE: Wall Triana worries

Updated: Nov. 9, 2020 at 6:00 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - One of the worst considered intersections in Madison County could be getting a make-over, but it would require millions of dollars and Huntsville City and the county coming together.

We are talking about the intersection at Wall Triana and McCrary Road. The intersection is infamous for bumper to bumper traffic, delays, and accidents.

A viewer reached out to 48 News after she said she travels the area every day, witnessing people skidding into ditches and major accidents. She wants our local leaders to do something before it’s too late.

More than 17,000 people drive on Wall Triana Highway every day.

“I am sure all these people driving by will agree with me, there is a problem up here,” said Andrea Crabtree.

Wall Triana Highway and McCrary Road is a “T” intersection. Drivers on McCrary must either turn left or right onto Wall Triana. Andrea Crabtree said that is where things become dangerous.

“There is nowhere for the McCrary Road traffic, as it turns on to Wall Triana either way, if there is a problem, there is a big ditch across with no guard rail. If there is any slick weather, that person is really taking a risk when they pull out into traffic," Crabtree said.

Crabtree said she has noticed several other factors while traveling near this stretch of road including visibility issues, speeding, and a lack of warning signs.

“If there is an accident and you are traveling north on Wall Triana, you crest the hill and suddenly everybody is braking. Twice, I have skidded because the person in front of me skidded to avoid a bumper-to-bumper collision.”

In May, a man was killed near the intersection after his car left the roadway and hit a tree. In 2019, an off-duty Madison Police Officer collided with another vehicle killing a 92-year old woman.

District 4 Madison County Commissioner Phil Vandiver said he is aware of the problem and understands the concerns. The county has studied the area and believes the best solution to fix the problem would be to make it a four-lane highway. “Some of the issues that come with that is funding,” said Commissioner Vandiver. “We all have a want and desire to do the projects, but you have to have the funding.”

Vandiver said the funding is just not in the budget.

“When you are talking about 4-laning a mile of two-lane roads into a four-lane road you are looking at $7 to $10 million…a mile," Vandiver said.

To complicate things even more, both the county and Huntsville City would have to agree to spend the cash. The north half of the intersection is within Huntsville City limits while the South side is county jurisdiction. “It is not simple to get everybody’s money and everybody’s funding in the same time frame to get it done.”

Commissioner Vandiver said county leaders are considering a temporary solution to prevent any more potentially dangerous accidents, like a traffic light or a warning signal.

Crabtree said something needs to be done before it costs someone else their life. “I feel like if something isn’t initiated, we are just going to see a real problem there someday, a real crisis with bumper to bumper traffic or somebody dying.”

The county is considering the four-lane highway to expand through 72 and Capshaw Road.

Huntsville City Councilman John Meredith said the city remains in conversation with county leadership about the design and the city’s portion of the cost.

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