Study completed on dangerous highway - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Study completed on dangerous highway

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December 30, 2006

Sylvester -- A dangerous state highway in Sylvester will be made safer for those who travel it. The state Department of Transportation recently finished an eight week traffic study along State Route 256, a highway where several accidents have taken place over the past few years.

Local leaders say implementing some changes will be timely and costly, but very necessary.

Along some stretches of Highway 256 drivers pulling out are unable to see oncoming traffic from either direction. It's caused many accidents on the highway, and reason for local community leaders to make a change.

"I know there's a lot of turns. The road was probably cut some years back and I don't think it's been reevaluated as far as safety. I know there's a lot of houses been built since that road was cut," said Worth Co. Commissioner Tony Hall.

County Commissioner Tony Hall is one of the local community leaders who pushed for the DOT to come to town and conduct the traffic study. He's pleased recommendations from the department came back quickly, so his office can work with city and state officials to get some changes underway.

"The ultimate goal is safety, more safety for the residents, the passengers, just riding out on 256. And the residents that live out in the area," said Hall.

The city found that more than 40 accidents happened within five years on the highway, including rear-end accidents, side swipes and head-on collisions. A number they say must be reduced considering they all happened in a one mile stretch of the highway.

In all 28 recommendations from the DOT were made. Some that the city and county will handle costs, some the state will cover.

"From putting a caution light, to cutting down some of the shoulders, to maybe closing up a couple of driveways out on highway 256, we feel very strong about that," said Hall.

"We'll be talking more about what we can do and what it's going to cost."

The price to keep Worth County residents safe is one the city and county say they won't spare. Changes to Highway 256 will be made, somewhere down the road.

Of all the accidents on State Route 256, two in recent years were fatalities. A concerned citizen compiled a list of 200 local residents petitioning to get the traffic study done and changes made.

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