Lack of median barrier on I-75 creates concerns

The accident occurred south of the Northwest 39th Avenue exit when Hunter G. Bailey, 21, of Lake City, began hydroplaning, crossed the northbound lanes and went into the median where his pickup truck began to roll over. It rolled through the median and into the southbound lanes of I-75, where it collided with the front of a 2013 Nissan.

A few readers wrote that the section of I-75 at which the accident occurred does not have a guardrail in the median.

“It appears to be a very dangerous place to lose control, as the northbound lane is elevated above the southbound lane. If there is any place where there should be a barrier, it’s there!” George Fox said in an email. “Even a simple loss of control would be catastrophic if occurring on that non-barrier stretch between Newberry exit and 39th Ave. exit.”

It turns out the Florida Department of Transportation is doing a study of the area to determine if a barrier is needed.

District DOT spokeswoman Gina Busscher said that when the highway was widened to six lanes in that area, the standards did not require a guardrail. The widening occurred in the early 1990s.

Busscher added that a barrier will be added when resurfacing occurs in 2015 or 2016, but it could be added sooner if crash data indicated it is needed.

“We are getting crash data now to see if it needs to be done as a special project before we get to the resurfacing,” Busscher said.

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Readers continue to write about issues at the intersection of Northwest 53rd Avenue and 34th Street.

“When driving eastbound on NW 53rd Avenue approaching the intersection with NW 34th Street, there is a dedicated right turn lane. As you get closer to make the sharp right turn, you can’t help but notice the RIGHT TURN PROHIBITED sign straight ahead, contrary to the right turn lane you are already in,” wrote John Freeman. “THIS IS CONFUSING! What the sign needs to have added is β€˜AT THE LIGHT’ β€” NO RIGHT TURN AT THE LIGHT because the angle is too sharp there. It’s OK from the right turn lane, but not if you go further β€” to the light.”

Others have written about faulty traffic signals and additional concerns about the intersection.

DOT is expected to rebuild the intersection within the next year or two. Signs, signals and lane markings will be updated then.