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City looks to improve pedestrian safety at dangerous intersections

Posted at 10:28 AM, Jul 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-25 11:35:11-04

Traffic moves through the intersection at Airline Rd. and McCardle Rd.

CORPUS CHRISTI – The city is working on a plan to improve safety at some of the city’s busiest intersections, and engineers have identified five areas for pedestrian improvement.

They are Up River Road at Suntide, Tarlton Street at Port Avenue, Horne Road between Port and Ayers, Staples at Holly and Airline Road between Ocean Drive and McCardle.  Those areas were identified by through a three year study as having a higher number of crashes.

Megan Martin remembers getting called into work in the middle of the night because a truck drove through the wall.

“This whole wall was down, the cases were across the floor,” said Martin.  “It definitely looked like a mess in here.”

Martin manages Benjamin’s Surf and Skateboards.  She says that crash opened her eyes to how dangerous the intersection at Airline and McCardle is.

“Pretty much everyone that works here has almost been hit by a car, and it’s been very close calls, for sure,” said Martin.

To help improve safety at dangerous intersections, and along dangerous corridors, the city’s Engineering Department is applying for a grant through the Texas Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Improvement Program.

“These intersections or corridors have been associated with either high traffic with crashes,” said Michelle Villarreal-Leschper, City Engineering spokeswoman.  “They need pedestrian improvements, they need some of those additional safety improvements.”

If Approved TXDOT would pay for 90% of safety improvements in the five areas.  That’s an estimated $1.8 million for things like upgrading signals and installing safety lighting.  The city would pay remaining 10 percent of costs… From bond 2016 money.

“This really is good news for our city because it is that additional funding,” said Villarreal-Leschper.  “We are addressing those intersections where we can make those improvements because it’s all about the safety for our city.”

The city council heard a presentation on the application Tuesday, but it was on the Future Items Agenda.  There is presently no official timetable.

This is the second time the city applied for HSIP grants.  The first was approved, and a list of projects is currently out for bid.