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“I actually got into a car accident on this road”: Alachua County residents await traffic light at Parker Rd intersection

"I actually got into a car accident on this road,”: Alachua county residents await traffic light at Parker Rd intersection
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 7:01 PM EDT
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ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB) -A traffic light is being added to the intersection of Parker Road and SW 24 ave in Alachua county.

“Now I’m extra careful when coming through this intersection,” said resident, Johanna Latham.

In October, a vehicle going north on Parker Road hit the teenager as she was making a left turn from 24 ave. The accident flipped over her family’s SUV.

“And really it’s more than just the signal work, “said Alachua County Public Works Director, Ramon Gaverrete.

Last May, it was the same site of a crash that killed at least one person but two markers are left where that accident happened. The estimated cost for the stoplight project is $840,000 and it’s already included in the county’s capital improvement plan.

Although, the project still needs a blueprint and a contractor to get started.

“With that, we actually also gonna add a northbound right turn lane, and we’re going to add a little bit of the widening on SW 24 avenue, to also accommodate turning lanes,” said Gaverrete. “You cannot just do a signal without accommodating the turning moments.”

RELATED STORY: Update: Roadway reopens after deadly SUV vs. dump truck crash

School buses, construction trucks, even semi-trucks frequent Parker Road along with regular commuters.

“You have a big truck on Parker Road in the turn lane, someone could be flying by that and you don’t see it until it’s too late,” said Christi Latham. She’s Johanna’s mom and said since the year 2000, she’s noticed more traffic as more homes and schools are built.

“And you’ve got a lot of teenagers that are driving this road because you’ve got Queen of Peace and you’ve got The Rock, they’ve built schools down here,” said Christi. “So you’ve got drivers that aren’t necessarily as experienced and so they aren’t paying attention or you know, it’s just a lot going on and it’s a hard place to learn a lesson.”

County officials predict to put out bids for a contractor in the Fall--- it’s after that point when construction can start.

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