ARCHER COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — No one was seriously hurt Wednesday night in another two-car accident at Highway 79 and FM 1954, but that’s an intersection Texas Department of Transportation officials have been working on to try to make safer for some time now.
TxDOT’s Public Information Officer Adele Lewis said from 2014 to 2017 there have been 12 reported wrecks at that intersection.
According to TxDOT officials, one issue is the roadways at the five-way intersection are not squared up at 90-degree angles, so many times the wrecks are caused because motorists cannot see clearly before proceeding.
Officials said this has been a concern for some time now that is why they have drafted a plan to address the problem by leveling the roadways, squaring them up and increasing lighting in the area.
“In the existing right of way, we’re not going to buy any new right of way for this project, we’re gonna use what we already own and we’re going to square up the intersection as best as we can to give you better sight distance,” Lewis said.
However, Archer County Deputy Sheriff Simon Dwyer said TxDOT is now reviewing a plan that may not be the answer.
“I’m not sure that this is gonna address the problem, but I am confident that down the road at some point its gonna have to be addressed again,” Dwyer said.
There were three ideas that were presented in the past that Dwyer said he prefers.
It squared up the angles but also created a separate exit for Bowman Road that way it would no longer lead into the intersection.
Lewis said many are concerned about what will happen to Bowman Road, whether it will be turned into an intersection or closed off and until the plans are complete in January there is no telling what will happen.
They hope to let this project and start the construction summer of 2020.
Officials with the Bowman Volunteer Fire Department hope Wednesday night’s accident serves as a stark reminder that the intersection is a dangerous piece of road.
The fire chief said he hopes drivers will keep their head on a swivel while on Highway 79 and come to a complete stop and check traffic a few times when on FM 1954.