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Dangerous Brandon intersection will get traffic signal next month

BRANDON — A new traffic light is going up at a deadly Brandon intersection.

The traffic signal at Providence Lakes Boulevard and Gornto Lake Road is expected to be working sometime next month, a county official said.

Two years ago, the intersection was the scene of a car accident that killed 46-year-old Sheila Creel. At the time, there were only stop signs at the expansive intersection, where housing complexes sit on every corner.

Crews recently began digging deep shafts to support the metal poles that will hold up the light, said Tom Fass, head of projects management for the county Public Works Department.

"We should be able to have it all up and running by mid-February," Fass said.

In January 2006, a study concluded that the intersection met the criteria for a traffic light. That October, officials asked a developer to begin design work.

By September 2007, a month after Creel was killed, the design was more than halfway done. But lawyers and county officials later determined that the developer wasn't required to pay for the $400,000 light.

The year Creel died, about 6,500 vehicles a day traveled on Providence Lakes Boulevard and about 11,900 used Gornto Lake Road. In the past three years, more than 70 accidents have been reported at the site, some of which involved incapacitating injuries.

Creel was killed when she ran a stop sign, lost control of her Mazda and plunged into a pond. It took rescuers more than 20 minutes to pull her out of the water.

Tampa resident David Perrera said there's no reason why it should have taken so long for a light to be installed. His wife, Arleen, still has to deal with problems related to a car accident she had the week before Creel died at the same intersection.

She ran into the side of a truck. The accident crushed her leg. After reconstructive surgery, she still struggles to properly walk.

"Why did it take so long?" Perrera asked. "It's been years and so many injuries. "

Chandra Broadwater can be reached at cbroadwater@sptimes.com, or 661-2454.

Dangerous Brandon intersection will get traffic signal next month 01/29/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 29, 2009 3:30am]
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