State money helping improve dangerous Loudon Co. intersection

6 News Anchor/Reporter

LOUDON COUNTY (WATE) -- After more than 20 years, money to fix a dangerous Loudon County intersection is finally coming from the state.

The intersection of Shaw Ferry Road and Highway 11 has been the site of numerous accidents, some deadly.

The problem with the intersection is a blind hill on Highway 11. Drivers trying to turn from Shaw Ferry Road can't see the cars until they crest the hill and sometimes, it's too late.

Residents and elected officials have worked tirelessly, trying to get the state Department of Transportation to fix the problem.  

"On a weekly basis, there's an accident, some sort of accident. Last week, there were two accidents that I know of," says Angie Queener, who works near the intersection at Turn Key Plumbing.

Queener's office window looks out over their parking lot to the highway. "I'm scared that something's going to happen to my vehicle or a car's going to go into the building or something."

Two years ago, Queener was lucky to survive a wreck driving into work. "I was rear-ended. She was going very fast and she just wasn't paying attention and so my Tahoe was totaled and then it ended up over here."

Caution lights and rumble strips have been installed, all to no avail.

Loudon County contacted the state for help several times, but got replies like this: "During the period of study, 22 crashes including one fatal and two incapacitating injury crashes occurred. This intersection will not meet the criteria."

"Fixing this intersection will just make people more aware of what's going on and hopefully save some lives," Queener says.

The state is already surveying this area for construction. Work on a traffic light and turn lane should begin next year and will probably be done in 2010.

Mayor Arp says state Representatives Dennis Ferguson and Jimmy Matlock were instrumental in bringing state attention to the intersection.