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Posted at 05:01 PM ET, 05/17/2011

Pr. William supervisors approve funding to improve dangerous road

Prince William County supervisors approved funding Tuesday to fix a portion of Logmill Road, the site of several fatal accidents in recent years.

In a unanimous vote, supervisors approved $270,000 in local funds and appropriated an additional $2.4 million in state and federal funding to improve a portion of Logmill Road between Route 15 and Parnell Court in Gainesville. The project will essentially flatten out a hilly portion of the road.

Accidents along Logmill Road have claimed the lives of at least seven people since 2004. County officials said they looked into getting funding from the Federal Highway Safety Improvement program last year following two separate accidents that killed three Battlefield High School students.

The highway safety program was designed to help fund projects intended to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries on public roads, according to the Federal Highway Administration Web site.

“When you look at the number of fatalities we’ve had, you want to take action and see what can be done,” said Rick Canizales, transportation planning manager for the county.

County officials announced in April that they had received the federal funding, just days after two more Battlefield students were killed on the road. Five teenagers were in a vehicle driving on Logmill Road on April 20, when the vehicle hit a deer. The driver lost control of the car and crashed into a tree. Savanna Kidane Mouratidis and Kendra Kaeleen Tucker, both 15, died in the crash. Speed was a factor, police said, and the teenagers were not wearing seatbelts.

County transportation officials said the road is “very hilly” and meant to be taken at 15 or 20 m.p.h. But, “if you are jumping hills at 60 or 70 miles per hour it becomes dangerous,” Canizales said.

Prince William transportation officials said the county will administer the project and construction is expected to be completed by November 2012.

Prince William police also plan to hold an education program for Battlefield teens and their parents. The program will cover speeding, drinking and driving, passenger safety and seatbelt use, police said.

Although a date for the program has not been set, police officials said they plan to do it before the end of the school year. They hope to expand the program to more schools next year.

By  |  05:01 PM ET, 05/17/2011

 
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