Nearly one year after seven J-turns added to Route 13, MODOT says they're working

BOLIVAR, Mo. (KY3) -- It has been nearly one year since seven J-turns were added along Missouri Route 13 between Clinton and Springfield. The last one began construction back in October.

MODOT traffic operations engineer Mike Bock said the J-turns are doing exactly what he hoped they would.

"They've done what they're designed to do. They take that severe crash angle and they reduce it," Bock said.

He said before adding a J-turn at Route 13 and State Highway U, the intersection was very dangerous.

"No matter what list we came up with for years, [highways] U and Y was always on that list," Bock said. "No matter what way we would look at it, it was always near the top. "

Right now, Bock said MODOT's latest numbers show no serious injuries or fatalities for the intersection of Route 13 and State Highway U now that the J-turns have been added.

He said there is a bit of a learning curve sometimes for people who are using these J-turns for the first time, but he said that's not always a bad thing.

"Sometimes they waited on the side before they would go. But I'd rather have them wait on the side street to find that gap, and they would get over to the J-turn through the two lanes of traffic," Bock said.

As for the newest J-turn added along Route 13 and State Highway O, Bock said it is still too early to tell what progress has been made so far. But he said he has noticed a better flow of traffic in the area,

"If they don't have to stop, then you reduce the amount of time anybody's stopped in the middle of traffic," Bock said. "We should see similar results there that we do up at U and Y where the number of crashes and severity will go down."

He said stay-at-home orders did cause traffic to slow down a little bit. They will take that into account when submitting their three year analysis of the J-turns.