ODOT makes changes to Healdton-Wilson "Y"

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ODOT officials hope they've improved safety at the Healdton-Wilson "Y."

"This intersection, according to our traffic data has had quite a few accidents," said ODOT resident engineer Jay Earp.

From 2001 to 2011 ODOT reported 48 accidents at the intersection. 58 percent of those were due to failure to yield. The state highway 76 and U.S. 70 intersection used to have red flashing lights for drivers on 76 meaning stop and yellow flashing lights facing 70 meaning caution.

Earp said that caused some confusion.

"A lot of the drivers seeing the red flashing lights from one direction assumed there were red flashing lights at the other direction," he said.

To keep drivers from thinking the intersection was a four way stop, ODOT recently spent more than $78,000 in federal funds to install flashing stop signs, yield signs, and "cross traffic does not stop" signs on highway 76.

They also added flashing intersection ahead signs on U.S. 70 with a suggested speed of 50 through the "Y." All directions now have rumble strips, as well.

While ODOT hopes that the blinking lights and rumble strips will help drivers slow down and pay attention, those that drive around here have their own opinion about the changes.

"The problem wasn't that the don't see the stop sign, it's that in the early morning or the late evening the sun's in their eyes and they pull out in front of people," said Healdton resident Joni Kennedy.

"Well it's been needed, they've had too many bad wrecks here," said Mike Harrison, who also lives in Healdton. "It's the next best thing they could do besides putting a stop light."

The project took two weeks to finish and wrapped up April 16th.

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