The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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December 11, 2013

Bad Clinton intersection getting good DOT dollars

Interactive map demonstrates need for revisions

CLINTON — The most recent crash data for the Iowa Department of Transportation can be found on its website with accident numbers from 2004-2008. These totals are also illustrated on maps, and on the basic map, each accident location is notated by a small, yellow dot.

When it comes to the city of Clinton, certain clusters of dots seem to appear as expected. Heavier collections are found in the heart of the downtown, and they space out on the less traveled outskirts.

Then there’s a collection on the northwest side of Clinton, near the Clover Hills Shopping Center. Over a dozen yellow blips form a straight line where no roadway actually exists.

The cars they represent didn’t fly hundreds of feet off the nearest roads: The frequency of accidents at the closest intersection — 13th Avenue North and North 11th Street — was so high that the department had to line the dots in open space for them to fit.

“This is the only location in town that warrants a signal... and it would benefit from having a traffic signal added to it,” said Jason Craft, Clinton City engineer.

When the DOT announced Tuesday that 46 road projects in Iowa will receive a combined $8.7 million in assistance from the Traffic Safety Improvement Program, it was little surprise that 13th Avenue North and 11th Street made the list. Of that chunk, Clinton will receive $175,000 to install permanent traffic signals and “protective/permissive left turn phases for north- and southbound traffic” at the intersection. Craft said he’s planning to start construction in July 2014 when the new fiscal year kicks in.

Thus, Clinton will mend another hazardous roadway.

But another major win, said DOT media contact Terry Ostendorf, comes through what he called “the benefit cost.” He said now Clinton can fix a major traffic concern with minimal funding.

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