SOUTH JORDAN — South Jordan police are stepping up their presence at an intersection where a serious crash happened Thursday night.
Motorists have voiced concern to police and the Utah Department of Transportation that the intersection of 11400 South and Bangerter Highway is confusing and perilous while it’s being rebuilt into a freeway-style interchange.
"It's actually so dangerous,” said motorist Ally Sweeney, who lives near the intersection. "It doesn't make any sense. So it's very difficult for drivers to understand what's going on."
"The traffic light is unclear. The lines on the road are unclear," said another motorist, Jerry Koa.
"When I come down this road, I have to really just pay attention to where people are going, where the lane is,” added motorist Dia Fuller.
The work zone meets national safety standards, according to UDOT spokesman John Gleason. However, UDOT officials always want to make improvements so the intersections will be as safe as possible.
For the next few months, no left turns are allowed except for motorists headed south on Bangerter Highway. All others must proceed through the intersection. However, some motorists are delaying traffic as they try to make illegal left turns.
Thursday afternoon, a woman was doing just that—making an illegal left turn—when her car was hit by a vehicle driven by an off-duty police officer, according to South Jordan police Lt. Matthew Pennington. Her 6-year-old son remained hospitalized in critical but stable condition Friday.
The incident led to a tough day for workers on the project and at UDOT Friday.
"Our hearts are with this little boy and his family and just hope for a good outcome,” Gleason said.
UDOT is installing bigger signs and more signs for the left turn restrictions, improving road striping to make the lanes easier to follow and changing the traffic signals to directional arrows that will be easier to follow, Gleason said.
Four additional officers will patrol the area Friday night. Police have already spent hours this week, before the accident, ticketing nearly 30 violators, Gleason said.
"We always ask that people really focus all of their attention on driving through those work zones,” he added.
Thursday's was the second crash at the intersection this week. On Wednesday, a vehicle traveling west was stuck at the intersection due to backed up traffic, police said. Only minor injuries were reported.
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