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updated: 9/1/2011 6:53 PM

Deadly Maple Park intersection to get signals

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  • A traffic light will be installed at Route 38 and Meredith Road south of Maple Park in Virgil Township. The intersection has been the site of several major accidents the last several years.

       A traffic light will be installed at Route 38 and Meredith Road south of Maple Park in Virgil Township. The intersection has been the site of several major accidents the last several years.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • A memorial cross indicates a fatal traffic crash took place at Route 38 and Meredith Road near Maple Park. The intersection was the scene of many accidents before a stop sign being installed a few years ago. A traffic signal is being installed this fall.

       A memorial cross indicates a fatal traffic crash took place at Route 38 and Meredith Road near Maple Park. The intersection was the scene of many accidents before a stop sign being installed a few years ago. A traffic signal is being installed this fall.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Kaneland school officials are pleased a traffic signal is going to be installed this fall at Route 38 and Meredith Road in Virgil Township. School district representatives had complained to state officials about limited visibility for bus drivers and others turning from Meredith onto Route 38. The intersection is about a mile away from Kaneland High School.

       Kaneland school officials are pleased a traffic signal is going to be installed this fall at Route 38 and Meredith Road in Virgil Township. School district representatives had complained to state officials about limited visibility for bus drivers and others turning from Meredith onto Route 38. The intersection is about a mile away from Kaneland High School.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • State Sen. Chris Lauzen

      State Sen. Chris Lauzen

 
 

Driving to and from Kaneland High School may be a little safer since the state is installing traffic signals at Route 38 and Meredith Road near Maple Park.

The intersection is about a mile north of the Kaneland High School and former Kaneland Middle School campus. It has been the site of serious, even deadly, crashes. Kaneland school officials had complained the intersection had poor visibility to the west for bus drivers and students turning onto Route 38.

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Route 38, a state highway, has a posted speed limit of 55 mph.

State Sen. Chris Lauzen, an Aurora Republican, announced the news Thursday.

"I am very thankful that a stop light will be installed at this active, dangerous intersection," Lauzen said in a statement. "Illinois Route 38 and Meredith Road will become a safer place for students and parents after this project is completed."

There were three vehicle-related deaths at the intersection in 2007, which led the state to install four-way stop signs and flashing lights. Before that, it was a two-way stop, with signs on Meredith.

"It has been clear for many years that this project needed to be funded," Lauzen said. "The flashing signal was a temporary solution and the new signal will hopefully be a lasting lifesaving fix."

The work -- which includes widening the intersection -- will begin this month and finished by December.

Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler said he was pleased with the decision to install the lights, as he would be by anything that improves safety for students traveling to and from the school. Kaneland is especially concerned about teen drivers, because it is a mostly rural district, and an estimated 90 percent of students eligible to drive to school do so.

-- In July 2007, an off-duty St. Charles Police officer was injured in a three-car crash. He died a month later of a blood clot brought about by his injuries.

-- In November 2007, a woman from Bradley was killed there.

-- In December 2007, a 19-year-old woman died in a one-car crash near the intersection.

-- On a foggy afternoon in February 2008, a 34-year-old man was injured when he drove his Ford Ranger underneath a grain hauling semitrailer turning off Meredith on to Route 38.

After the intersection at Meredith and Route 38, the next one the Kaneland district worries about is Keslinger and Dauberman roads, according to Schuler. Many students from the south use Dauberman to get to Kaneland High School, he said.

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