Safety changes made to dangerous intersections on SH 130 toll roads

SH 130 Concession Company increased the size of stop signs to improve visibility. (Photo: CBS Austin)

The SH 130 toll road management company is working with local law enforcement after multiple crashes on the feeder roads.

The SH 130 Concession Company took over management of the southern section of 130 in June. When they took over, they wanted to take a fresh look at safety.

According to a blog from the company, there were 150 major crashes on feeder roads in dry conditions in a three-year period. Most were involved one vehicle and CEO Andy Bailey said they were preventable.

“There were an incredible number of single vehicle accidents,” Bailey said.

That’s why in December, the company brought together local law enforcement and elected officials to see what can be done to improve safety.

“It was just great having those folks involved,” Bailey said.

However, the company already made some changes before the meeting. It added rumble strips before dangerous intersections. It also increased the size of stop signs from 36 inches to 48 inches to increase visibility.

On Tuesday, workers were out changing signal flashing. Currently the signals aren’t fully functioning. They flash yellow or red to keep traffic moving.

Before Tuesday, the lights would flash at the same time. However, after changing some wiring, the lights now flash back and forth.

“It really draws your attention that it’s flashing and they’re not going yellow and it’s going to stay yellow until it turns red,” Bailey said.

Bailey said the biggest problem intersections were at FM 1185 and FM 2001. He says little changes at those intersections can make a difference. That’s important for him, especially because about 85 percent of crash victims live in the Lockhart area.

“They’re part of our community, we want to make sure that they can get through the road safely,” Bailey said.

Auto shop Quality Collision Center is just north of the 1185 intersection. Owner Joel Cortes said he sees crashes around there at least once a week.

“People driving too fast, we need a little more lights,” Cortes said.

He said he likes the help, but thinks the traffic lights should be fully functioning instead.

“That would help a lot to stop seeing too many accidents,” Cortes said.

The 130 Concession Company plans to bring back law enforcement for another safety summit in January. Then the company will have a more concrete safety plan to put in place.

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