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Camden County Rt. 54 safety update

Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 7:07 pm

The project includes planned safety improvements to Route 54 from Camdenton to Osage Beach. The work will help prevent crossover accidents and improve the safety of several intersections. The installation of J-turns will help eliminate right-angle crashes and has been shown to reduce injury/fatal accidents by more than 50 percent. The median guard cable that will be installed on this project has been shown to prevent almost all crossover accidents. The project is scheduled for completion in August 2019.

The project includes various Route 54 safety improvements in Camden County including:

  • Installation of median guard cable along Route 54 between the city of Camdenton and west of the Camden County Route KK intersection in Osage Beach
  • Intersection improvements at Spring Valley Road and Route 54
  • Westbound Route 54 deceleration lanes at Key Largo Road, Runabout Drive and Cape Woods Drive
  • A westbound acceleration lane at Key Largo Road
  • An eastbound Route 54 acceleration lane at Camden County Route A
  • Three J-turns will also be installed on Route 54 at the following locations: East of Key Largo Road, East of Camden County Route A and West of Route A
Current Traffic Impacts:
  • Lane closures are currently in progress on eastbound and westbound Route 54 between Osage Beach and Camdenton to install median guard cable. One lane of Route 54 will be open at all times in both directions during the work.
  • One lane of Route 54 in each direction is closed from Camden County Route KK to Key Largo Road in Osage Beach for pavement repair until the end of January.  One lane of Route 54 will be open in each direction through the work area at all times during the work.

The total cost is approximately $2.485 million.


Why is this work necessary?

The Missouri Department of Transportation has studied 19 different J-turn intersections in Missouri, and the J-turn design resulted in a 25 percent reduction in crash frequency for all crashes. Fatal crashes decreased by 88 percent at J-turn intersections, and serious injury crashes were reduced by 78 percent. One of the most severe crash types, the left turn, right angle crash, was eliminated by the J-turn.

The median guard cable that is being installed as a part of this project has been shown to prevent almost all crossover accidents.


What are J-Turns?

The J-turn is an alternative to traditional roadway intersections on a four-lane highway. Instead of motorists crossing fast-moving lanes of traffic to get to the opposing lanes, drivers at a J-turn intersection turn right in the same direction of traffic, merge into the left lane, and then make a u-turn in the direction they intend to travel. Although drivers will have to travel slightly further to get where they want to go, using J-turns can take the same or less time than trying to wait for a safe and appropriate gap to cross traffic.