Road improvements scheduled for Mike Padgett Highway to help curb fatal accidents

Work scheduled for Mike Padgett in 2013

 

Tuesday night’s fatal wreck on Mike Padgett Highway in which a driver crossed the center line happened along on a stretch of road scheduled for improvements.

Marquieta R. Cribbs, 30, was killed about 6 p.m., when she crossed the double-yellow line after she pulled out of Castle Pines mobile home park and struck a logging truck, Rich­mond County Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen said Wednesday.

A child with her at the time of the wreck was taken to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital, but his condition was unknown Wednesday.

The accident happened on a stretch of highway set for $22 million in work, including the addition of a raised concrete median and designated turn lanes.

Work is scheduled to begin in mid-2013, said Mike Keene, an area engineer for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Keene said Wednesday that the final plans have been drafted and the department is focusing on appraising then purchasing right of way.

The road must be widened to make space for the concrete median, which will run 4.68 miles, from Bennock Mill Road to a point approximately 930 feet north of Old Waynesboro Road. There will be left-turn lanes at most cross­roads, including Goshen Road, Brown Road, Coun­try Place Road and Doug Barnard Park­way.

Keene said no changes were made in the design process and expects only minor tweaks in the plans as right-of-way is purchased.

The four-lane highway, Georgia Highway 56, has long been known as dangerous and deadly.

It has been 16 years since the highway hasn’t recorded a fatal wreck. There have been at least two deaths on Mike Padgett Highway every year since 1996; seven were recorded in 2008.

The highway’s first fatal wreck of 2011 happened in April, when three people in one car were killed after the driver pulled out in front of a log truck, police said.

Keene said there are no temporary measures that can be put in place to calm traffic, because it would delay the long-term project.

“The only thing is for folks to start slowing down,” Keene said. “That would help out a lot.”

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