TDOT looks to make Vietnam Veterans Blvd. safer

TDOT looks to make Vietnam Veterans Blvd. safer

Posted: Updated: Feb 24, 2014 08:45 PM
HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. -

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is studying the safety of Vietnam Veterans Boulevard to find out if there are ways to make the road safer for drivers.

The road has been the location of 145 vehicle crashes since January 1, 2013.  The vast majority of those wrecks, 110, happened between the Center Point Road and Saundersville Road exits.

The most recent fatal wreck happened there on January 30.

Four vehicles were involved.

Heather Clinard, 24, Rafael Coto, 23,  and Tyler Schultz, 24 were killed in the crash just before 2 a.m.

Five other people were injured in the crash.

Hendersonville crash investigators believe speed was a factor in the wreck.

"January 30th was our worst one this year to date," Sgt. Mike Germany said.

Sgt. Germany has investigated numerous wrecks on Vietnam Veterans Boulevard.

"It is just speed mostly, not wearing your seat belts and not driving a mile ahead like you were taught," he said. "The main issues we are facing in the last decade out there is the speed and with technology advancing now we have distracted driving."

TDOT has already added several safety features to the roadway including guard rails, cable barriers to the medians, recommended speed limit signs to curves and open graded friction course (OGFC).

An OGFC is an improvement to the roadway that is meant to help tires better grip the road.

There is also a safety study in progress that includes analysis of the exits and on ramps.

"Each location will have a Roadway Safety Audit (RSA) to determine the depth of the safety issues," TDOT Spokeswoman Deanna Lambert said via email. "Each location will receive the appropriate traffic analysis to determine congestion, mitigation issues and solutions."

Sgt. Germany said adding more features to the road may not be the best solution for improving safety on the road.

"I don't think there is anything else we could do for the safety of the drivers," he said. "I think it is up to the drivers now to make it safe."

The latest TDOT study is set to be complete sometime in March or April.

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