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Losey Boulevard resurfacing project leads to higher accident rates

There are many different factors that contribute to a motor vehicle accident. For example, a crash may occur because the driver was distracted by their phone behind the wheel. However, a major highway reconstruction project along La Crosse's heavily trafficked Losey Boulevard has caused an unexpected side effect: an increase in accidents along the stretch of Losey Boulevard between La Crosse Street and Market Street.

Lt. Patrick Hogan of the La Crosse police department reports "more accidents" in the construction zone. He surmises that the accidents are the fault of driver inattention to the lane restrictions caused by the reconstruction project. Hogan describes the majority of the accidents as "rear-end collisions."

Local residents who live on Highway 16 near the resurfacing project have a different perspective and a different theory for the increased crash rate. They report that there are now accidents every day along the stretch, sometimes multiple wrecks in any given day. They report that the real culprit is a lack of adequate signage in the area approaching the construction zone. They also point to the presence of a long curve in the road before the affected area that bars a clear line of sight with the upcoming resurfacing area.

Police officials argue that the signage and traffic control devices in place are more than adequate to cover the relatively small area of the repair. They are reminding motorists that the project is ongoing until mid-September, and are urging drivers to exercise extra caution in construction zones. Some suggestions have included maintaining a safe speed and giving themselves adequate room to merge while paying attention to their surroundings.

Source: WXOW.com, "Accidents Increase on Losey Boulevard," Kristen Barbaresi, July 29, 2012.

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