Volusia County, FL – After an impassioned plea for action from Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson, Volusia County Council moved forward with a letter to state officials pressing for action at the intersection where three children and a woman were killed Tuesday in a fiery crash.
By the end of the day, FDOT has responded that it was moving quickly to address the intersection with a temporary 4-way traffic signal and would expedite the longer term roundabout planned for the site. The letter from FDOT to the county is below.
County engineering officials told council members that the state only last year completed a study that recommended action on that intersection at S.R. 44 and Grand Avenue. Previous state studies did not find the intersection warranted action. S.R. 44 is a state route and not a county road. The 2015 state study recommended a roundabout. Council agreed a quicker fix would be a 4-way traffic light and the longer-term fix would be the roundabout.
Council-member Josh Wagner pointed to a need for funding infrastructure and said leaders acted like “children” by not having serious discussions about a possible one cent or half cent sales tax to support needed improvements to county operated roads.
“Since 2011 there have been 33 confirmed traffic accidents at this corner,” said Sheriff Johnson. “22 of them have been angle accidents – somebody coming across Grand Ave and being involved. We had a traffic fatality in 2013 and I believe in 2010 was another one. And of course, this week we had this tragic accident of 4.” Johnson went on to say he can guarantee “accidents with severe injuries” and “more traffic fatalities” if something isn’t done about this dangerous intersection in the near future.
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