Dangerous intersection getting facelift

Published 1:12 pm Friday, August 1, 2014

The intersection of Louisiana Highway 438 and Louisiana Highway 25, where a fatal crash occurred in early June, will soon look markedly different, according to Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development officials.

Nineteen-year-old Pine resident Taylor Miller was in an automobile accident June 8 near Warnerton and died the next day in New Orleans, where she was airlifted following the accident.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development will soon begin working on a $5.8 million project to stabilize the base and overlay Highway 438, and that work will include the Highway 25 intersection. The District traffic section will study the intersection and evaluate crash data and other pertinent facts.

“The $5.8 million to resurface Louisiana Highway 438 from Highway 38 to the Highway 438 spur will remove all of the existing roadway surface, stabilize the existing roadway base, overlay it with asphalt and restripe it in order to improve smoothness, friction and aesthetics, thus improving operator efficiency,” DOTD Public Information Officer Bambi Hall said.

She said the project’s intent is to make Highway 438 stronger over all.

“Stabilizing the base means to treat the existing roadway base with cement to add stability and strength to the soil before overlaying with asphalt,” Hall said. “The upcoming project is a part of our preservation project for non-interstate routes.”

According to Hall, from 2009-2013 (2012 not included) there were 10 non-fatal wrecks at the intersection. Hall said she found speed played a role in most of the car crashes in the study.

“There have been a few cases with no significant pattern,” Hall said. “However, a speed study revealed that motorists are traveling above the posted speed limit. We plan to schedule a speed trailer to be placed in the vicinity of this intersection. Since no other improvements are recommended, we are evaluating turn lanes as well to see if we need to recommend turning lanes here.”

Hall said no other factors played roles in the car crash study.

“Preliminary results show that all signage and striping is in good condition at this intersection,” Hall said. “Sight distance is also good. It means none of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices warrants for a signal, flashing beacon or all-way stop, so the existing traffic control is adequate for the intersection.”