County officials work to increase safety along dangerous curve

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. -- Road work is going to delay traffic at the intersection of Maysville Road and Cooper Drive in Madison County Monday morning. Crews will apply a high-friction surface treatment to the curve there. Leaders say it is an area notorious for crashes when it rains.

"The gentleman came around the curve, and he just kept going and he didn't stop until he hit our fence and our shed in the backyard. He even knocked our shed off the blocks a little bit," described neighbor Donna Clifford.

She has lived near the intersection of Maysville Road and Cooper Drive for 25 years and knows how dangerous it can be.

"I don't like it much," she said.

Community leaders say there have been at least 10 crashes on this curve in the past five years, two of which caused incapacitating injuries. But, Madison County Commissioner Craig Hill hopes he can be part of the driving force for a solution. The county has been awarded federal highway dollars to apply a high friction treatment to the road. The stretch of road is only one of two in the entire state that was awarded. Hill says the road's condition and crash history were what set it apart.

"It will create more friction for traffic as they approach the curve," Hill said.

The local government had to pay to prepare the road for the treatment. The county had to mill and resurface the road where the treatment is going to be applied. Monday crews will begin the next phase of the project.

"We'll put down a layer of epoxy and after the epoxy is installed then we'll put down an aggregate on the surface that's really course," Hill said.

He hopes this will keep cars from skipping during rainstorms. Donna Clifford says she looks forward to giving the treatment a test drive and hopes they are on the road to safer travels along the Maysville curve.

County officials expect the stretch of road to be closed beginning at 10:30 a.m. It should re-open sometime in the early afternoon.

In addition to the high-friction treatment, the county is working to make repairs on a six-mile stretch of road.

"If we could improve this for safety reasons and then when we improve the roadway 6-mile stretch, we come back with a thermoplastic striping, and also with reflectors, we will create as safe a road as can be created in the nation we feel like," Hill said.