Residents, officials want stop lights at accident prone intersection

Local News

ROCKFORD TOWNSHIP, Ill. (WTVO) — After a collision involving an Amazon semi at Hwy 251 (11th Street) and Baxter Road on Sunday, residents and officials acknowledge the need for stop lights at the intersection.

“We’ve had four major accidents in that intersection in the last six months, where we’ve had to extricate someone from their car,” said Chief Alan Carlson of the New Milford Fire Department.

“We’ve got two dumps in that area, so there’s a lot of garbage trucks coming through there,” Carlson continued. “And now with Amazon and the airport coming through there to get to I-39, truck traffic has quadrupled.”

There are no stop signs for traffic going north or south on 11th Street, and some residents are wondering if the intersection should be controlled by a stop light.

“It’s scary when there’s lots of traffic,” said New Milford resident Deanna Rodgers.

“I think something needs to be done,” John Berlin, who owns JJ’s Deli and Slots, said. “I’ve almost gotten hit a couple of times out there. I also own Junction Liquors in Davis Juntion, so I’m constantly going back and forth, and the semis are coming through that intersection. And, sometimes, the’re not realizing people are coming.”

New Milford Village President Tim Owens says the village has looked into installing a light at the intersection, and they’ve reached out to the State of Illinois about it.

“Sometimes, our hands are tied because we don’t have authority to govern speed limits or whatnot on some of the streets, because it’s a state highway,” he said.

Those who travel the roads frequently agree that something should be done.

“This is just the beginning of a more serious [situation] and I do not want to see anybody hurt or anybody killed,” Rogers said.

“We need to have something permanent in place, otherwise, someone is going to lose their life,” Carlson said.

A spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Transportation says temporary signals will be placed at the intersection during the I-39 detour as the highway is resurfaced this spring.

IDOT says it will monitor the area to see if it needs to put a more permanent solution in place.

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