Newberry County officials trying to get traffic signals for risk - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Newberry County officials trying to get traffic signals for risky intersection

It's an intersection that's bringing danger to a lot of people's commute each day. (Source: WISTV) It's an intersection that's bringing danger to a lot of people's commute each day. (Source: WISTV)
NEWBERRY COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

It's an intersection that's bringing danger to a lot of people's commutes each day.

Newberry County officials say they're getting more concerned with collisions happening where Broad River Road meets Highway 213.

County first responders say the miraculous thing is that there haven't been many fatal crashes at the junction. However, they say several collisions have been major, and they want the state to take action before someone gets killed.

"Anywhere from 4 to 6 p.m. in the afternoon,” Mike Chapman with the Pomaria Fire Department explained, "this is when the problem begins."

Thousands of cars make their way down highway 231 throughout the day, crossing over Broad River Road. People on that crossroad must stop and wait.

"Sometimes they can't get out for ten to fifteen minutes,” Tommy Long, the Newberry County Emergency Management Director said.

If the cars just pull out, it can be a risk.

"Since we've been here today, we've almost had three accidents. In the past 15 minutes,” Long said.

County officials say in recent years, full-blown crashes are happening more and more. According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, 24 collisions were produced by the intersection over a 10-year period. Close to half of them have unfolded since 2014.

Two weeks ago one driver was lucky to escape with his life after his Jeep got slammed by a logging truck.

"The rescue squad had to do an extrication. It took about 30 minutes," Long said. "Our concern here is try and get some traffic device installed or rework this intersection."

County officials, however, say it's not that easy. Early estimates put the work of adding a signal and more lanes at more than $1 million, all while traffic at the site could inch higher.

Many workers commute through the junction to the VC Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, and that workforce is expected to grow.

"If something is not done at this intersection, someone is gonna' lose their life or get hurt real real bad,” Chapman said.

County responders say they've also been in touch with members of the legislative delegation from Newberry. Since 231 is a state highway, work to upgrade the intersection would likely have to come from the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

In the meantime, officials say many crashes at that site have also been due to drivers going too fast and not paying attention. Responders are now asking that everyone passing through use caution.

Copyright 2016 WIS. All rights reserved. 

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