RAYNHAM — A county commissioner is determined to keep fighting until safety improvements are made at the intersection of Raynham and Iona Church roads, but a state transportation official’s comments suggest he will hit a dead end.
“I’m afraid someone is going to get killed there,” Roger Oxendine said. “I’m not going to give up. I’m writing DOT (Department of Transportation) another letter telling them something needs to be done.”
Rumble strips or something else needs to be put at the intersection not far from Exit 7 on Interstate 95 to slow traffic down and make motorists aware of the stop signs on Raynham Road, Oxendine said during a July 17 county commissioners’ meeting. He recently watched motorists leaving I-95 travel down Raynham Road and right through the intersection without slowing down or coming to a stop.
“They don’t see the sign at the intersection,” Oxendine said. “They come right on through.”
This will be the third time during a two-year period that he has written to state DOT to express his concerns, Oxendine said. He has recommended rumble strips be installed as a way to address the problem.
Chuck Miller, DOT district engineer, said his agency has received over the years several comments about traffic concerns at Raynham and Iona Church roads. The department has investigated after receiving each comment.
There were investigations in 2011, 2013, 2015, and in May of this year, Miller said. In each case, there was “not a great amount of traffic.” There was an average of about 7o vehicles using each road per day.
He is aware of only one fatality, and that was in 2011, Miller said. No specific pattern of accidents, such as angle, rear end or running off the road, was identified.
Miller said the DOT investigation in 2013 reported five crashes at the intersection during the previous five-year period. The 2015 investigation found four reported crashes in the previous five years, and the May 2017 investigation reported three crashes in the previous five years.
“Some of these reported crashes could be overlaps,” Miller said.
Any improvements to the intersection would probably not include rumble strips, he said. Rumble strips are usually installed at approaches to intersections where a large percentage of motorists are not stopping.
Unless another investigation results in changes from previous investigations, he does not anticipate DOT making alterations to the existing intersection, Miller said.
“We are continuing monitoring and understand the concerns of the commissioners,” Miller said. “If we see a problem arising we will certainly take action to help improve safety at the intersection.”
No letter has been received by DOT concerning the intersection since Oxendine wrote about his concerns in May of this year, Miller said.
“We will certainly conduct an investigation anytime the commissioners have concerns,” he said.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.