The Alabama Department of Transportation recently shifted some of its budget for road repair. That change will leave the city of Ozark without repairs for one of its most dangerous intersections.
It seems to be the consensus in the city of Ozark, the intersection of Highway 231 and 123 next to Gilland Pontiac is a dangerous one. There were plans to have the lanes of 123 straightened out to better orient 231 and place a traffic light there. Now, the only money available will repave it.
Ozark Mayor Bob Bunting said, "As late as April 30th, I was told by the Department of Transportation that the project was a go, it wasn't going to be cut, and everything is going to be ok. It's the worst section of all of 231 and 231 is a pretty long road."
Ozark Police say the most dangerous part of the intersection of 123 and 231 is the view, as motorists turn south onto 231 from 123 they face traffic that just wasn't there five seconds ago
Ozark Police Department Deputy Chief Myron Williams said, "If the traffic would slow down right there with the modifications to the intersection then the people who are turning onto 231 would be able to see and that's the problem, there is no vision until you get onto 231."
So, what happened to the $13 million dollars from the Alabama Department of Transportation? Mayor Bunting thinks it is going to another region of the state. "The Department of Transportation has promised $55 million dollars in state road work to the T.K Project in Tuscaloosa, that new German Steel Plant. Again, this part of the state is being ignored while other parts are being helped," he said.
In the meantime, Ozark residents and commuters will have to settle for repaving of the intersection with less than a third of the original budget.
Although the budget will be different, the intersection is still scheduled to be repaved on June 29th.