Why changes needed to stretch of road that claimed 3 lives can't - KMOV.com

Why changes needed to stretch of road that claimed 3 lives can't be made

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By Stephanie Baumer By Stephanie Baumer

LINCOLN, COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- The tragic deaths of a father, his one-year-old son and a Tennessee woman are renewing calls for improved safety on a Lincoln County highway.

Twenty two-year-old Corey Mantia, and his baby son, Parker, died in the accident.  The child’s mother, Destiny Mantia sustained serious injuries, but did survive.

Their car was struck by an SUV driven by a 42-year-old woman from Tennessee, which crossed over the center line Saturday on Highway 47 between Troy and Hawk Point in Lincoln County.
 
Residents have started an online petition asking for road improvement along Highway 47, saying something has to be done to make the road safer.
 
On Monday morning, troopers were stopping traffic at the accident scene so investigators could finish taking measurements. For years many have considered parts of Highway 47 to be treacherous.
 
Two years ago MoDOT added four-foot shoulders along Highway 47 from Troy to Winfield in eastern Lincoln County.  Improving an eight mile stretch from Troy to Hawk Point was on MoDOT’s priority list, but there was no money in the budget.
 
We want to make improvements and that's the frustrating part of being an engineer and seeing what we need to improve and folks realize, but we can't do it especially right where we're at with funding,” said Erik Maninga with MoDOT. “The plan called for straightening out two ‘s-curves’...it was on one of those curves the fatal accident occurred Saturday."
 
MoDOT said they’re also looking to add shoulders to the highway, a solution many residents would favor. 
 
“There'd be somewhere to go as opposed to not anywhere to go and choose rather to hit the ditch or hit a car head-on,” said Jonny Barnett, a resident of Hawk Point.
 
MoDOT says it's in "preventive maintenance mode" right now and it only has money to maintain the roads, not start new projects.
 
Voters turned down Amendment 7 which would have helped fund Highway 47 improvements. 
 
“Taxes- nobody wants to pay 'em, but if it saves somebody's life might be worth it,” Barnett said.
 
MoDOT says the project would be 5 to 10 million dollars.
 
MoDOT says the petition should be turned over to lawmakers who are the one’s making the funding decisions.

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