City moves forward with plans to improve intersections

Posted at 6:48 PM, Jan 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-07 21:28:53-05

The City of Waco is moving forward with plans to improve three dangerous intersections after receiving two grants from the state.

Waco Traffic Engineering Manager Eric Gallt said the city received a $225,000 grant to increase the size of traffic light signals, add warning signals and improve sidewalks on Bosque Blvd. between 25th and 26th street. 

According to Gallt, there have been at least 90 crashes in that area in the past five years.

"Ninety crashes is a lot is extremely high for any pair of intersections that we see in the city. A bigger concern is that a lot of the crashes and the severity of the crashes, including personal injury and we did have two fatalities out in that area, that puts a really big red flag for us and we were looking for something to do to improve safety out in that area," Gallt said. 

Jimmy Haliburton Jr. who is the general manager of HDH Tax Specialists located in the 2500 Bosque Blvd. said he is supportive of the improvements.

"Any factor that they can add in that would impact drivers from getting to the intersection could help prevent all these accidents from occurring," Haliburton said.

When the business moved to that location two and a half years ago, Haliburton noticed it was an area prone to crashes. He said recently the number of them has decreased but he is still cautious when he drives to and from work. 

"This is what I call the pause area. Just because it changes green doesn't mean go immediately. It means take a look and then go," Haliburton said. 

Besides this area, the city is also planning to improve the intersection of 19th and Lakeshore Drive. It will use a second grant for $150,000 to add a protected left turn, add crosswalks at the intersection of 19th and Lakeshore Drive. That area had 12 crashes over a five-year period.

"Any time you can reduce the number of crashes, it's a value to the community," Gallt said.

The city will cover 10 percent of the construction costs for the projects, which are expected to be completed in the fall. 

Staff applied for a third grant to improve 19th and Park Lake Drive but they did not receive it. 

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