New traffic pattern causes safety concerns

There have been at least two accidents in the construction zone in the last few days.
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 8:27 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOGAN, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A mother in Logan County says she’s worried a new traffic pattern along Route 73 might end up in tragedy if not addressed.

“All of a sudden, traffic was coming right at me,” she said. “it kind of caught me by surprise.”

Dr. Sandra Maynard has lived in Logan County her whole life and feels pretty comfortable driving on the roads.

Until recently, when a construction project changed traffic flow in the area causing safety concerns for some drivers.

On Friday evening, Maynard got a call no parent ever wants to receive.

“My daughter had been in an accident and as soon as they told me,” said Maynard. “I knew, I just knew where that was at.”

She says her heart dropped. Her daughter was on her way home from college and got confused when the two southbound lanes switched to one lane in each direction.

She entered into oncoming traffic and hit another vehicle nearly head-on.

“I just thank God his hand was over her,” she said.

Logan Police Chief J.B. Frye confirms there was a wrong way crash Friday evening that sent two people to the hospital.

Maynard says her daughter fortunately only suffered minor injuries.

“She’s just sore, bruises, whiplash, it could’ve been a lot worse, a lot worse,” she said.

Reporter Kelsey Souto went to the construction zone and found several signs warning of traffic changes and lane closures up ahead.

Souto contacted West Virginia Division of Highways to learn more about the work and see if they were aware of any issues drivers might be experiencing.

A spokesperson responded in an e-mail saying:

This is a bridge renovation project. The contractor installed the maintenance of traffic in accordance with the construction plans, but we have been receiving concerns that people were ignoring the double yellow line and passing in the work zone. Last week, we held a meeting which was attended by the project manager, traffic engineering and construction staff about the bridge and decided on the following to mitigate the situation.

West Virginia Division of Highways spokesperson

The response goes on to say that they have added cones in each direction for an additional 200 feet and a subcontractor was working to re-time the stoplights.

Maynard tells WSAZ, she isn’t the only one concerned about the new traffic pattern.

“I have seen on social media where they are talking about how scary that is,” she said. “Someone is going to die if that is not fixed, why are there no barriers between the north and southbound lane?”

WVDOH says they will continue to closely monitor the situation and make adjustments as necessary.

For Maynard, it was a close-call she hopes to never repeat.

“She said all she could remember was flames and then someone trying to get her out of the vehicle,” she said.

On Tuesday afternoon, WSAZ was in the area getting video of the work zone, when another two-car accident happened in the intersection.

“If we don’t spread the word somebody is going to get killed, there’s going to be a fatality,” said Maynard.

Delegate Jordan Bridges was passing through at the same time and tells WSAZ improvements need to be made to keep everyone safe.

“I really should have reached out to my local representatives, not knowing that it was going to be my daughter who was going to hit someone head-on,” said Maynard. “It’s going to take the community as a whole to reach out and make some noise so there will be some changes, so no other parent has to live this nightmare.”

Maynard hopes this will serve as a lesson to others. Chief Frye says he will have an officer stationed in the area during rush hour commutes each weekday morning and evening from 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.

Copyright 2022 WSAZ. All rights reserved.