State making changes at dangerous Lowndes intersection

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 18, 2023

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The Lowndes County intersection at U.S. Highway 80 and Alabama Highway 97 has been under speculation for over a year as officials decide what course of action to take to reduce traffic accidents. The tricky intersection currently requires drivers to cut across four lanes of traffic on Highway 80. 

David Butts, the Lowndes County engineer, explained that the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) plans to require drivers to make a right in future instead of cutting across traffic to turn left. 

“There are four lanes coming from Whitehall and four lanes coming from Montgomery, and if you’re trying to make a left turn [onto Hwy 80] you’re going into oncoming traffic,” Butts said. “What they’re looking to do is if you’re coming in from Lowndesboro going to Hayneville, you will make a right then go down and make a left turn and come back, and then go to highway 97. That way you don’t have all four lanes of traffic to cross at one time and get caught in an accident.”

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Robert Harris, Lowndes County Commissioner for district one, said the state department is still working on the intersection. It remains unclear what the new intersection rules will be, or when it will be finished, Harris added. 

“All I can say is that I see action taking place, but to what degree I’m not sure,” Harris said. “As far as making drivers go west and then come back east, I’m not sure yet because it’s still under construction and hard to tell. The State Department of Transportation has taken the lead on this project and is funding it with their own engineering team, so it will just be a waiting game to see how well it will all work. Personally, I would prefer a traffic light, but they seem to have their reasons for not using the traffic light.”

Lowndes County residents are encouraged to use extreme caution while navigating the intersection to keep residents and the roadway safe.