Dangerous stretch of Manchaca getting additional safety improvements

3-vehicle crash on Manchaca Road just south of Slaughter Lane. (KXAN Photo/Ed Zavala)
3-vehicle crash on Manchaca Road just south of Slaughter Lane. (KXAN Photo/Ed Zavala)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man in his 20s died Wednesday in a three-vehicle crash just south of Austin’s most dangerous intersection, Manchaca Road and Slaughter Lane. KXAN checked in to see where efforts to improve safety in the area stand.

A year ago, yellow posts were placed along Manchaca Road to prevent people from cutting across four lanes of traffic, forcing drivers to safety find a turnaround point. The thing is, Austin’s Transportation Department says the bulk of the $1.6 million in improvements to the intersection won’t begin until the spring.

KXAN spoke with a woman who now fears for her safety, every time she drives through the Manchaca/Slaughter intersection.

“It was haunting to know that someone lost their life right there today,” Alex Hodges said.

Pictures of the crash jolt her back to the moment her typical routine, driving through the intersection every morning on the way to work, was forever changed.

“The last few weeks have been chiropractic appointments, seeing a lawyer, being in pain, having to shop for a new car,” Hodges said. “It’s scary. It’s hard to drive through that intersection.”

Council Member Ann Kitchen told KXAN beyond safety improvements to Austin’s most dangerous intersections, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) recently approved a $9 million price tag to improve the surrounding area.

“Manchaca, south of Slaughter all the way down to 1626 has been slated for improvement for some time,” Kitchen said. “That will allow additional improvements to Manchaca Road south of that Slaughter intersection, which as we can see is critically important with the tragic accident that we just had down there.”

183 and Cameron Rd. ($306,195)

Construction began last week to include better crosswalks, an island for pedestrians and an advanced warning flasher to let drivers know a red light is coming over the hill. The project is expected to be completed next month.

N. Lamar Blvd. and Parmer Ln. ($711,654)

Crews are scheduled to improve turn lanes, forcing drivers to yield and slow down in January.

Lamar Blvd. and Rundberg Ln. ($705,501)

Work here is set to begin next month. Improvements will include the addition of raised medians to prevent drivers from making unprotected turns.

Work at the Rundberg and North Lamar intersection is set to begin next month. Crews will be adding “raised medians” to prevent drivers from making “unprotected turns.”

IH-35 Service Rd. Southbound and Martin Luther King ($149,517)

Last month, crews began repairs which are now completed, including reconstructing the right turn lane, repainting crosswalks and adjusting signal light timing.

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