Shelton

County hopes $2 million settlement will prompt changes to dangerous intersection

County hopes $2 million settlement will prompt changes to dangerous intersection

Another bad crash at what everyone agrees is a bad intersection in Shelton means the state will have to shell out $2 million to settle a lawsuit. But what no one in the town can figure out is why the intersection isn't fixed, despite 50 accidents in 14 years -- including two deaths.

Nine years ago, the state called this intersection dangerous. Four years ago, a motorcyclist flatlined and almost died here.

On April 25th 2006, John Lancaster's motorcycle was totaled. John nearly was too -- his heart stopped for three minutes.

John's medical bills hit $600,000 and the state recently agreed to pay him $2 million to settle a lawsuit.

Four years later, the state lowered the speed limit to 50 mph and built a northbound merge lane. But turning left to go south remains sort of like Russian Roulette on wheels.

"There's been a number of fatalities, a number of wrecks on a regular basis," said Bill Taylor, president of Taylor Seafoods.

As a matter of fact, Taylor was so worried he decided to build a back road out of Taylor Seafoods for his trucks. He called Lynch Road too dangerous.

Mason County agrees. They even have a frontage road design and a million or so dollars the state Legislature provided. But the road will cost five times that, so the road's on hold.

"I guess in the economic climate right now, I'm not too surprised that it hasn't come up," said Mason County Engineer Bob Thuring. "There are so many competing projects across the state, I guess I'm not too surprised."

The immediate solution is patience.

"No I just take my time. Wait for the traffic to go by," said driver Chad DeWeese. "It seems to help."

Anotoher driver, John Fogo, added: "If you wait for the timing, it's not too difficult, but at times you can sit there 10 or 15 minutes."

If you think 15 minutes is a long time, well, they've been waiting for a state fix for nine years.

Around here the locals say perhaps a two million dollar damages settlement will have the people around the DOT table both shaking their heads and planning to fix the road.