Without a lot of fanfare and within a thick and unrelenting winter fog, the intersection of Evans Road and US Highway 80 is safer now. The traffic signal also covers access and exit from Tennessee Avenue.
District 2 Commissioner Carl Currington initiated the change in the traffic pattern because fatal accidents, as well as tremendous difficulty crossing lanes of increased traffic in Ladonia supported the new lights.
“There was no safe way to turn left from Tennessee or Evans Road,” said Currington. “People waited a long time at this intersection just to get across the street.”
With the Neighborhood Walmart, Ladonia Elementary School and the Wendy’s restaurant receiving increased traffic in the area, the local community and the commissioner recognized a real need.
In 2016-17 the Motor Vehicle Department reported several accidents, at least two fatal, along that particular commercial stretch. Commissioner Currington attended the Alabama Department of Transportation conference in May of 2017 to request state involvement.
Traffic counts were elevated, according to ALDOT, the turning counts into and out of both roads from US HWY 80W had also increased. The intersection warranted a full traffic signal with turning/yield indicators.
Evans Road, which rides into Lee County, has seen a lot of development in recent years. Commercially, US HWY 80W continues to expand in the Phenix City Police Jurisdiction of Russell County.
Currington went to Phenix City and Lee County to ask for financial support for the state-approved work.
Both Phenix City and Lee County declined assistance citing budgetary restraints.
The Russell County Commission gave the project the “green light” spending $50,000 from the 2018 budget year.