The traffic nightmares and safety hazards posed by road construction on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 are not going away anytime soon.
The ongoing road widening project is expected to continue into 2024, according to Villages-News. The $45 million project, which began in the summer of 2020, was until recently expected to be wrapped up by the end of this year.
The construction site has seen a growing number of fatal accidents, including when two teens were killed in a crash in the work zone in April.
The Florida Department of Transportation is expanding U.S. Hwy. 27/441 from four to six lanes between Lake Ella Road and Avenida Central. That means widening both the northbound and southbound stretches of U.S. 441, along with adding bicycle lanes and sidewalks. As part of the project, FDOT is also doing drainage work, adding signage, making lighting upgrades and making median access changes.
While the project is designed to make traffic safer in the busy stretch of road, it has already come at a significant cost.
“The project remains haunted by the death of 27-year-old John Joseph Terranova of Leesburg, who was buried alive after a retaining wall caved in on him Feb. 2 at the site of the bridge over County Road 25,” Villages-News reports. The tragic accident happened as construction crews worked to remove the bridge, which is being replaced with an intersection at grade.
The crash that killed two teens happened during the early morning hours of April 24. The Hyundai Elantra in which the pair was traveling was going “too fast for the road conditions,” according to the Lady Lake Police Department. The car hit a curb and several barricades before landing in a ditch and flipping over, Villages-News reported.
Just weeks later, another collision at the construction site reportedly left one woman with serious injuries. This accident also involved a teen driver, a 16-year-old who reportedly admitted that he was distracted by his GPS at the time of the crash. An 11-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl were also injured.
Local officials have been pleading with drivers to slow down when traveling in the construction zone and keep an eye out for temporary signage.
Anyone who is injured in a crash, whether in the construction zone or elsewhere across The Villages, has the right to seek compensation from those responsible. That includes money for medical expenses, as well as other financial impacts of the accident. In the tragic event that a person dies in an accident, certain family members can seek similar compensation by suing for wrongful death.
Speak With a Villages Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or other accident, it is vital to seek the advice of an experienced injury attorney. Villages accident attorney Tim Babiarz has been fighting for people and families across the community for more than two decades.
Our office is conveniently located in the Villages. We are also proud to represent clients throughout the area, including in Ocala, Leesburg, Lady Lake, Wildwood, Summerfield and beyond. Call (352) 205-7559 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a Villages accident attorney.