The following email was sent to Delegate Kevin Kelly in response to the news article “Route 55 intersection may get lights, signs” by Matthew Bieniek that appeared in the Oct. 3 edition of the Cumberland Times-News (Page 1A).
It is also pertinent to the editorial entitled “Danger Zone: State acting to improve safety at bad intersection” that appeared in the Oct. 4 edition. I read with interest the article that appeared in the Cumberland Times-News and applaud your efforts to address the dangers of this deadly intersection.
However, I did not see any mention of one other hazard that I believe affects the safety of this intersection: that is, the dip in the road that is located south of the caution light on Route 36. This dip in the road surface causes vehicles to be completely hidden from the view of the driver sitting at the intersection on Route 55 when looking to the south on Route 36.
At first glance, the roadway appears clear with no oncoming cars; the driver pulls out onto Route 36 and then suddenly a vehicle moving as fast as 50 mph or more rises out of the dip and is bearing down on the driver who just entered the intersection.
This hazard could be easily corrected by building up or increasing the depth of the road surface in the area where the dip is located.
There is plenty of fill available in the area as well as dump trucks to haul it. The repair would require a repaving of only a short section of the roadway that is being raised. The dip would then be eliminated and oncoming northbound traffic would be visible from the intersection.
I have sat at that intersection many, many times and have witnessed as many as three vehicles at one time descend into the dip and completely disappear from view.
Years ago, I contacted the State Highway Administration and complained about the dip. The State Highway Administration denied that there was a dip in the road there.
Perhaps their denial of this problem has contributed to some of the many accidents (some fatal) that have occurred there over the years. I ask that you revisit the intersection and see for yourself the hazard that this “non-existent” dip in the road creates. I firmly believe that removing this dip in the roadway would go a great way towards alleviating some of the hazards of that particular intersection.”
Update: Kevin Kelly responded to my email advising me that my concerns had been forwarded to Anthony Crawford of the State Highway Administration for investigation.
I am presently awaiting contact from Mr. Crawford to follow up with my concerns.