Traffic congestion, especially on high-speed roadways, has a major impact on road safety. One small mishap could result in a devastating crash that could involve multiple vehicles and injury many people.
In addition, highway crashes often cause traffic to come to a halt, creating the risk of further collisions and pileups. Those who live in or visit Mobile may be familiar with the crashes on Highway 98 – a two-lane roadway that runs east and west from the border of Louisiana to Mississippi.
Why Highway 98 is a safety concern
Highway 98, which runs through Mobile is often dubbed “Bloody 98” for a reason. It often gets crammed with commuters, beachgoers, and large commercial trucks. Fatal car wrecks are a common occurrence that often cause traffic jams extending more than 10 miles.
One resident reported hearing emergency service sirens pass through the highway at least three times a day.
“People get hurt on that highway every day,” said the resident. “Many people just don’t realize how hard it is for people who have to go this way every day.”
The highway is reportedly so dangerous that many residents take longer routes to get home, according to State Sen. Jack Williams (R-Wilmer).
“People will go 20 miles out of their way, down dirt roads or however they can to avoid it. What ought to be a 20-minute drive for people who live in Mississippi but work in Mobile and vice versa is an hour or more,” said Williams.
A change of infrastructure
In 2001, construction was initiated to extended Highway 98 into four lanes, but the project was halted in 2008 due to several setbacks.
Due to the 2016 BP oil spill settlement, the project was revamped in 2017 with $40 million in funding. The project will connect a new two-lane U.S. 98 west of Mobile with SR 158 extension. The old highway 98 will still be in operation but will be under construction. The project is expected to be completed by 2022.
This will allow half of the traffic to split between the two roads, which will result in a significant cut in traffic congestion. In addition, the old Highway 98 will be updated with a center lane and rumble strips.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car wreck on Highway 98 or any other roadway in greater Mobile, you need to take immediate action.
At Mike Slocumb Law Firm, we represent victims who have been injured in car wrecks. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.