Dangerous Curve In Jasper County Receiving Safety Facelift

KILLDUFF, Iowa -- Blink, and you might miss the unincorporated community of Killduff in southeastern Jasper County but you'll also miss a dangerous turn.  "People call this the Killduff Corner," said Jasper County Engineer Russ Stutt.

The  sharp turn is along Highway T22S and Railroad Street.  Stutt said, "There's approximately 930 vehicles a day on this road."  Despite the traffic, Killduff native Dale Maston says it's common to see people end up in the ditch.  "So many times. I know people that have gone off there and heard of it countless times," he said.

Speed zones haven not slowed drivers down.  "It goes down incrementally from 55 to 45 to 30 miles per hour," said Stutt.  On Tuesday, Jasper County Board of Supervisors voted to install two sets of flashing lights on speed limit signs.  One northbound and one southbound.  Stutt said, "It'll probably be the end of the month that we will get them in.  The shipment was actually delayed due to a recent hurricane because they are coming from Florida."

County officials say in the last two years there's been seven crashes.  Residents say no way.  "I would say that might be low depending on how many just leave after an accident.  I've seen that too," said Maston.

Surveillance video from nearby Killduff Supply Co. shows a vehicle after it crashed into a semi-truck on their lot.  It leaves the scene.  It's also been no surprise waking up to vehicles in the outfield of the town baseball field.  "We just got it fixed and then after the bill was paid, maybe two weeks, we had a semi-go through it," Maston said.

Unfortunately the Killduff Supply Co. sign has taken the problem head on.  Recent repairs show the aftermath of a vehicle taking the turn too fast.  Shattering the support beam.  Stutt said, "We are just hoping we can encourage responsible driving."  It is a makeover residents hope will steer drivers towards safety.  Maston said, "It can't hurt that's for sure.  It's definitely an improvement.  If it stops one person from going off then it's a success."

The two sets of flashing lights will cost $130  a piece.  They will be solar-powered and equipped with a security mechanism to prohibit theft.