(KMOV.com) – News 4 has learned MoDOT will soon be starting work on making a stretch of Highway 94 near Orchard Farm safer.
A nearby business owner said the dangerous stretch of Highway 94 near its intersection with Church Road has been the scene of several accidents. The business owner said a curve near the Trinity Lutheran Church is to blame.
“There’s been too many deaths on that corner. Something needs to be done,” said Travis Brown.
In 2013, one of Brown’s employees was doing yard work at the church when a woman lost control of her car on the curve, struck an embankment, and rolled several times. That employee was hit by the car and killed.
The speed limit on that stretch of highway is 55 MPH, but drivers are urged to slow down to 35 MPH while driving on the curve. Some do not slow down. In total, fire crews have responded to 30 accidents on the curve in the past three years.
“One of the biggest problems we see is the speed coming into that corner. I’d say the majority of accidents are related to how fast people go around the corner, lose control, and don’t have a way to correct the action,” said Jeremy Holrah, Chief of the Orchard Farm Fire Protection District.
Over the years, MoDOT has added more signs, a center rumble, and widened the road. MoDOT believes the road surface has become polished.
“It just doesn’t have the friction out there, so it’s not that the curvature is extremely bad, but the road surface is polished so what’s happening in wet conditions is that people are running off the road,” said Tom Evers with MoDOT.
MoDOT will start resurfacing the road in spring, adding a thin top layer less than half an inch think, which MoDOT believes will give tires a better grip.