The Missouri Department of Transportation has not stalled in its decision to consider three different options to improve the cross-over intersection at Highway 54 and Key Largo Road/Osage Beach Parkway.
Temporary cones went up on Saturday blocking vehicles on Osage Beach Parkway from turning onto eastbound or westbound Highway 54. The blockade was an immediate action in response to a serious crash involving a Chevy Silverado pickup truck and a Ford Escape. The pickup truck was exiting the Osage Beach Parkway and attempting to turn onto westbound Highway 54 when the vehicle was T-boned by the Escape, which was traveling on eastbound Highway 54. Both drivers sustained serious injuries and had to be extricated.
Officials from several departments made the decision right then to limit traffic at the intersection until a permanent solution is implemented.
Limiting traffic exiting Osage Beach Parkway was one of three options MoDOT presented at a public hearing the Wednesday before in order to improve safety at the intersection.
Counting Saturday's crash, there have been six crashes at the intersection resulting in five serious injuries and four minor injuries.
The intersection is also attracting twice the number of vehicles it was designed for, according to a one-day traffic count MoDOT completed. And, it's not even prime tourism season.
Area Engineer Bob Lynch said blocking all traffic to the intersection from the Osage Beach Parkway side may not be the permanent solution. Instead, the department had immediate access to the number of cones and signs needed for that option, so they went with it.
MoDOT is taking public comments on the intersection until Wednesday, May 2. After that, officials will sit down to review the comments and decide a permanent course of action.
The solution could be a combination of several ideas and suggestions.
Lynch said the goal is to begin work as soon as plans are finalized so any type of construction at the intersection would be completed before Memorial Day, the official start of the tourist season at Lake of the Ozarks.
MoDOT is also considering ideas for the large amount of vehicles having to turnaround near Lazy Days Road because Osage Beach Parkway stops at a dead-end.