The Florida Department of Transportation is investigating methods of improving safety at a construction zone in which a driver recently ran a red light and suffered critical injuries.
The accident in question occurred in September, when a pickup driver heading east on State Road 70 ran a red light just past the I-75 overpass. The truck struck vehicles that were exiting the interstate and in left- and right-turn lanes. That driver was hospitalized and listed as being in critical condition.
The issue here was that there was a roadside electronic message on the west side of I-75 telling eastbound drivers that there was a traffic signal ahead. However, the three suspended signals over the eastbound lanes of traffic are actually blocked by the overpass, meaning drivers might not see any of the lights until they’ve passed under the overpass, by which point it may be too late.
County working on the safety issue
The county and FDOT have since been notified about the issue with that stretch of S.R. 70, which is particularly dangerous for drivers who are unfamiliar with the area. FDOT says the agency’s engineering staff are considering “additional measures” to alert drivers of the obscured signals while the area is under construction. Proposed solutions include conversion of the interchange into a “modified diamond” design from a “modified cloverleaf” design, which could potentially help streamline traffic and avoid some of the potential safety issues that have drawn community concerns.
Still, there are residents in the area who aren’t satisfied with this solution, and say the area is currently unsafe for all drivers.
The road construction project, valued at $80.7 million, is not expected to be complete until the fall of 2021.
For more information about issues involving municipality liability for auto accidents, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.