DOT works to make deadly intersection in Grifton safer

GRIFTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The DOT is currently working on changes to make a deadly intersection safer in the town of Grifton.

Residents have been voicing their concerns about the intersection where Hanrahan Road meets Highway 11 for years.

“I’m scared to like even come on this road because people like pull right out in front of you and it just don’t make no sense. They need to do something about it,” Grifton residents told 9 On Your Side.

That’s why DOT project engineers have come up with the plan to install a median to only allow left turns off the highway. Drivers on Hanrahan Road will have to turn right, then make a u-turn further down.

“That should eliminate the thru traffic on Hanrahan Road and the hazardous crash situation that we have now,” NCDOT Project Development Engineer Bill Kincannon said.

This comes after dozens of crashes there, including one which killed a mother trying to turn left onto Highway 11 over Thanksgiving.

“It’s pretty bad, especially when you’re trying to come this way or if you’re trying to get out,” Grifton resident Belinda Ibarra said.

Everyone WNCT spoke with agrees, including Grifton’s Town Manager Joseph Johnson.

“I’m nervous every time I go through it, especially in rush hour around 5, 5:30, several people are coming home in the evenings. A lot more people lined up trying to turn both directions and people trying to cross,” Johnson said.

He says DOT’s plan is a big step in the right direction.

“I think that’s going to clear up the traffic there at that intersection so it’s not so backed up. And allow traffic to flow a little smoother,” Johnson said.

Not everyone agrees this is the best solution though. Some community members say a traffic light would be a better option.

Project engineers are working to get this done as soon as possible. They expect to see some progress by the end of the year and have it finished by next spring.

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