MOORHEAD — Police say reckless driving and excessive speed caused a Tuesday, Nov. 19, crash that seriously injured three people at a busy intersection on the Moorhead-Dilworth border.
The crash at Highway 10 and 34th Street is one of many accidents that have occurred at that intersection. In April this year, a rollover sent two others to the hospital, and in January of 2018, a crash at the intersection claimed the life of a 2-year-old boy.
City of Moorhead traffic engineer Jonathan Atkins says it is an area with a higher rate of crashes, and he points to a number of factors as the cause.
"The crashes that we've seen are related to ice (and) poor driving conditions," Atkins said, adding that there have also been issues with traffic lights and signs.
"We've been trying to clean them up lately," he said.
Atkins said the higher crash numbers don't stand out to him, though the speeds do. The portion of Highway 10 that intersects with 34th Street has a higher speed limit than it does in Moorhead because of its location along the border of two towns: Moorhead and Dilworth.
"It's one of our higher speed sections in town ... it's 45 here, versus 30 at some of the other ones, so when a crash does occur they tend to be more violent," Atkins said. "We're doing our best to keep safety high, but also keep mobility high, too. We don't want to cause unnecessary backups and create undue driver tensions."
Stick barriers, left turn only signs off the frontage road and flashing yellow arrows in all directions have all been added at the intersection within the last year to reduce crash numbers and confusion among drivers, Atkins said.
Though, he added, changes won't stop at 34th and Highway 10. Atkins said he plans to continue improving safety at intersections around the city.
Moorhead, Dilworth, and state officials are also currently working on a corridor study that will look to improve safety and traffic management. The study is slated to be finished in 2020.