SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT: Augusta's most dangerous intersections
June 22, 2017/ News 12 at 6 o' clock
AUGUSTA, Ga.-- (WRDW/WAGT) We crunched the numbers and found the most dangerous intersections in Richmond County. We looked up the number of crashes at each intersection that have happened since 2014.
1. WASHINGTON ROAD AT INTERSTATE 20-- 203
2. BOBBY JONES EXPRESSWAY AT GORDON HIGHWAY-- 188
3. INTERSTATE 20 AT WASHINGTON ROAD-- 188
4. DEANS BRIDGE ROAD AT BOBBY JONES EXPRESSWAY-- 187
5. WRIGHTSBORO ROAD AT BOBBY JONES EXPRESSWAY-- 187
6. BOBBY JONES EXPRESSWAY AT WRIGHTSBORO ROAD-- 176
7. WASHINGTON ROAD AT BOY SCOUT ROAD-- 166
8. TOBACCO ROAD AT WINDSOR SPRING ROAD-- 165
9. PEACH ORCHARD ROAD AT BOBBY JONES EXPRESSWAY--163
10. WINDSOR SPRING ROAD AT TOBACCO ROAD--162
The intersection of Wrightsboro Road at Bobby Jones Expressway can frustrate the most patient driver. Mix in a holiday shopping weekend, and you've got a recipe for disaster, or at least a few fender benders.
Tammie Williams would know. She's lived in Augusta and driven these roads her whole life.
"It's really congested right there...Christmas time, I hate even going that route. I'm like no," she said.
187 crashes since 2014 earns the Wrightsboro Road at Bobby Jones intersection the title of fourth most dangerous in Augusta.
Augusta's Assistant Director of Traffic, John Ussery says they're looking at those crash numbers and working on ways to lower them.
"As we try to determine what is causing the collision, the first thing we would try to do is adjust the timing or do things that don't require a lot of construction," said Ussery.
But, a lot of these big highway projects do end up requiring construction to keep up with growing traffic. That's where transportation sales tax dollars come in.
TIA dollars paid for the Augusta West Parkway side of Wrightsboro Road to be widened and the intersection has been improved, too. DOT says more changes are coming to the mall side of that intersection soon, hopefully bringing down the number of wrecks there.
Not to be outdone, Deans Bridge Road at Bobby Jones Expressway ties for fourth most dangerous with 187 crashes.That doesn't surprise Tammie Williams who's lived in the Glenn Hills area her whole life.
"We've got new neighborhoods and stuff like that so traffic has increased," she said.
A big construction project wrapped up there in 2014 creating six lanes instead of four on Bobby Jones and changing the traffic pattern. Drivers now come off a ramp to a traffic light instead of merging with traffic, but ongoing paving and side construction projects have kept the congestion and the accident count high.
"With Wal-Mart there and all the new construction, there's been a lot of fender benders. There was one last week. Traffic is congested, so it's been real thick over there," Williams said.
In second place, Bobby Jones at Gordon Highway. DOT recently made some changes to that interchange to make merging safer. But, even with those changes, it still comes in as the second most dangerous intersection in Augusta with 188 wrecks in the last three and a half years.
I-20 at Washington Road ties for second.
The number one spot is just a block down the road, Washington Road at I-20, with 203 wrecks since 2014. That means, you could throw a rock between the number one and two most dangerous intersections in the county.
"I drive up and down Washington Road every day, Monday through Friday going to work. I used to live on Washington Road and this intersection is really terrible," said Edmeasia Smith.
Between the two intersections, where drivers get on and off I-20 from busy Washington Road, have racked up 391 wrecks in three and half years, which may explain why drivers like Smith find themselves stuck in traffic.
"Several accidents, several back ups, several delays. I've been late for work because of accidents," explained Smith.
Traffic engineers say there is hope on the way. This fall, a new intelligent transportation system will be up and running across the whole county.
"That links the traffic signals together and that will link those traffic signals to a central computer system. That allows us to monitor traffic remotely, allows us to time them, do coordination timing among several different traffic signals on the same street," explained Ussery. "They count the cars and they'll adjust the signal time accordingly."