MoDOT officials explain plan to make Highway 63 intersection near Clark safer

CLARK, Mo. - A dangerous highway intersection is plaguing a small Mid-Missouri town with constant accidents.

Wednesday night, Missouri Department of Transportation officials offered a solution. MoDOT says their proposal will reduce the number of accidents on Highway 63 near Clark, which is about 30 minutes north of Columbia.

More than 40 accidents -- two deadly -- have happened near Route B and State Highway P since 2002.

Clark residents are concerned the "J turn" will harm truck drivers, a main source of business for the town.

One man living in Clark remembers Oct. 29, 2012, all too well.

Mike Tuesdell was waiting to turn at the intersection of Highway 63 leaving Clark. Before his eyes, he saw a car hit another, in the end hitting him.

He says he remembers two bangs, one of them being his car. It nearly killed Tuesdell.

MoDOT officials and residents agree that type of accident is too common an occurrence at the intersection just west of Clark.

"We've had a lot of accidents out there.  We've had people killed, we've had a lot of people, it just gets ya," said Randy Neeson, a Clark alderman.

That is why MoDOT officials were attending Wednesday night's Clark City Council meeting to discuss a possible solution.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, more than 40 accidents have been reported at the intersection, which opened 11 years ago, 25 of them causing one vehicle to "T-bone" another.

MoDOT officials are hoping to explain how a "J turn" eliminates those T-bone type accidents.

"I know it will probably take some of the wrecks away but it kinda locks the town off too. I mean, it still comes back to our biggest thing is the semis that could cause wrecks somewhere else," Jaime Doughtery said.

"We got bypassed and we sorta watch the town dwindle. Every time MoDOT makes a move, we seem to suffer from the consequences," said Neeson.

Leaving the people living in Clark wondering if MoDOT's solution will actually help.

ABC 17 News asked, "What do you hope to get out of the meeting tonight?"

"Maybe a little more input on what they are doing out there and a little more feedback," said Doughtery.

Because the overall opinion of the proposed idea is not a favorable one.

"I'm just the mayor of a town of 300 people, so we want the best for our community and the people that live here," Doughtery said.

MoDOT officials say they plan on discussing the issue, show studies and the data behind why J-turns work and answer questions about how that is the best solution. Mo-DOT plans on holding a public forum about the issues next month.

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