Crash hotspot to get a makeover, MoDOT says

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 9/14/2012

Ask truckers about the U.S. 24/61 split at Taylor, MO, and some would no doubt mention the rash of rollover crashes that seem to happen any time it rains. Since March, at least six heavy trucks have left the roadway at the junction due at least in part to a slick surface. Fortunately, the state highway department has a plan to improve drainage and boost traction.

The trouble spot is about four miles west of the Mississippi River and Quincy, IL.

From mid-March through the end of August, local news crews seemed to be out there every time it rained, snapping photos and reporting on the rollovers and the traffic backups they caused.

An OOIDA member from Iowa recently contacted Land Line after being involved in one of the reported incidents at the interchange. Fortunately, he was not injured, but he is worried about how the crash will affect his driving future. He wondered if the Missouri Department of Transportation planned to do something about the trouble spot.

MoDOT District Engineer Brian Haeffner says the department has awarded a contract to resurface the interchange. The contractor will be starting work in the next couple of weeks to replace the asphalt surface with a type of concrete.

“It will keep more water off of the pavement, and it has better friction than the existing surface,” Haeffner said.

The engineer says he’s been well aware of the number of crashes there.

“That was one of the driving forces behind this project we’ve got, to try to have a better friction surface there so hopefully we can reduce the number of crashes caused by vehicles leaving the roadway,” he said.

“We’re not sure if it’s a vehicle traveling too fast for conditions, or the pavement. It could be either of those.”

Haeffner says the interchange is marked with speed advisory plaques. He suggests all traffic slow down and obey the reduced speed.

“If you’re going through that interchange, it’s a good idea to slow down, especially during wet conditions,” he said. “That would be our recommendation for anybody traveling through there.”

Earlier this year, MoDOT responded to a slick spot on Interstate 70 that was giving truckers fits. See related story here.

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