$1.7 million road project to begin on Hwy FF in JeffCo

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. (KSDK) - One of the most dangerous highways in Jefferson County is set to get a major makeover.

At least five people have died in car crashes on the windy stretch of road known as Highway FF in Eureka. One of those was 20-year old Kaela Archambault. She was killed in a crash at Highway FF and Tall Oaks Dr. in 2010.

"When her back end kicked out at the culvert, she tried to correct because she was going off a no shoulder road," her father Shawn Archambault said. "She over-corrected. Within that time frame, a second and a half when she over-corrected, she met the school bus."

A year later, Bain and Bailey Turnbo's mom Karen was killed.

"She had a single car accident up here, early morning in the rain. She lost control and just went off into a ditch," Bain Turnbo said.

There have been more than 100 accidents here in the last seven years. People who drive it say improvements project is long overdue.

"I have two sons, and as they were growing up they've been in three different accidents on this roadway," said Eureka Fire Protection District Chief Greg Brown.

Kaela's dad, Shawn Archambault, started a non-profit called One Curve at a Time in 2011 that has been pushing for improvements here ever since. MoDot broke ground on the $1.7 million improvement project Saturday.

"From Highway F to 109 we're going to put two foot shoulders through the whole thing. We're going to several box culverts and put four foot shoulders. We're going to put guardrail through much of the area," MoDot District Engineer Greg Horn said.

For the community, many of whom knew Kaela and Karen, the emotional groundbreaking ceremony represented one thing: that in death they made a difference.

"Right now, no one has a chance to make a mistake because you over-correct, or you flip your car, or you're in a ditch," said Archambault.

"...so a little bit of error space is going to be awesome out here. And guard rails are going to make a huge difference because what could be a small accident with a guard rail is a huge accident when you have a 30 foot ditch next to it," Bain Turnbo said. d

Work is set to start next week, and should be done by the end of October. There will be some lane closures, but MoDot says they'll have all lanes open in time for school buses to get through in the afternoon.


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