Reporting Bud Gillett
MANSFIELD (CBSDFW.COM) – A nearly one mile stretch of road in Mansfield with a reputation for being over-crowded is about to get some safety improvements: extra lanes for drivers.
East Broad Street between Holland and Day Miar road in Grand Praire will be widened to four lanes, including curbs and sidewalks. It is a stretch of road where two teens were killed in a traffic wreck on Sunday.
“I think it’s way overdue for widening,” says Mark Cole, who lives in the Lowe’s Farm subdivision that opens onto Broad Street. Neighbor Richard Bayless agrees, “There needs to be a light there. There needs to be a stop sign at least.”
The Mansfield City Council on Monday night approved plans to widen East Broad to match the rest of the street into Grand Prairie.
Mark Cole wonders if it’s too late. “Certainly if that road was widened – who could say? But maybe that accident didn’t happen.”
Police say the area is not especially accident-prone, and the teens killed on Sunday were the first fatalities on it.
The victims were identified as 14-year-old Anthony Deandre McAfee and 16-year-old Ashante Deandra Wilson. Police say the SUV in which they were riding swerved across the center line and hit a pickup truck. No word on the condition of the others involved. Police say the investigation could take several weeks.
“I saw the accident, it was pretty dangerous,”says another Lowe’s Farm resident, Andrew Haefner. “It looked pretty gruesome it was kind of scary for someone else.”
Richard Bayless thinks traffic speed needs to be kept down somehow. “People drive really fast through it and there’s schools all around. And there’s a lot of traffic.” There are elementary, middle and intermediate schools near the Grand Prairie end of the street.
It was a coincidence to have final approval on Monday night’s agenda. Negtiations have been the works for months, according to city spokeswoman Belinda Ellis. “There were some right-of-way issues that had to be dealt with there’s been some natural gas drilling in that area that also had to be address.”
The $3.5 million project will be paid for partly with county and city bond funds. It is expected to take a year to complete.
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