Stop Lights to be Installed Following Recent Death

Stop Lights to be Installed Following Recent Death

MIDLAND COUNTY, TX (KWES) - Some Greenwood residents are calling for change. They want a traffic light installed at a local intersection where a woman died last week.

Commissioners say they've pushed this project for the past five years. Now, it's about to become a reality.

"This intersection gets insane," said Greenwood resident, Cyn King.

Since 2013, 15 crashes have occurred at the intersection of South County Road 1130 and FM 307, eight in 2014 alone.

On August 27, Kathy Flores, 42, ran a stop sign at that intersection. She collided with a truck and lost her life as a result.

Greenwood residents say this crash could have been prevented had there been a stop light.

"There were other people that wanted to be here today but they're attending [Kathy's] funeral. How many people are going to have to die before somebody pays attention to this serious problem out here?" said King.

King used to teach Kathy Flores in the Greenwood Independent School District.

She says the increase of oilfield and residential traffic causes many to avoid the intersection.

"It's most difficult for the people to be able to get on to FM 307. Therefore, they roll through the stop sign or they jump out there trying to beat the traffic coming," said King.

Midland County Commissioner Robin Donnelly, who oversees the precinct with this intersection, says he's been fighting for traffic signals for about five years.

He adds that wait times at the intersection have stretched from 20 minutes to 45 minutes within the past two years.

"Traffic's lined up on the north side of FM 307 to the Interstate. So I've been working to try to solve that problem," said Donnelly.

The county is also working to put turning lanes on South County Road 1130. Much of the progress, they say, is in the hands of TxDOT, who owns FM 307.

Then in January, commissioners saw the light - literally - at the end of the tunnel.

"We've finally, through the efforts of Judge Bradford, have gotten the signal lights promised to us and we're waiting for the utility adjustments at this point," said Donnelly.

Gene Powell, the Public Information of TxDOT said in a statement, "The Odessa District of TxDOT has a routine maintenance contract with Willis Electric of Abilene for $215,258.55 to install traffic signals at County Road 1130 and FM 307 in Midland County. At this time, TxDOT is working closely with several utility companies to get phone lines, electric lines and other utilities relocated. Once that work is done, largely at the expense of the utility companies, the traffic signal work can proceed. It is impossible to predict a firm timeline for utility relocation. We are confident, however, that the signal project will begin this calendar year."

If everything goes as planned, TxDOT says construction will start within the next six to eight weeks.