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Residents call for changes at dangerous Smyrna intersection


A Smyrna intersection has seen its fair share of accidents, some of them deadly, and now a woman in La Vergne is calling for more to be done.
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 8:17 PM CDT
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SMYRNA, Tenn. (WSMV) - A Smyrna intersection has seen its fair share of accidents, some of them deadly, and now a woman living in La Vergne is calling for more to be done about it.

Smyrna officials said since Oct. 16, 2020, there have been 34 crashes at the intersection of Jefferson Pike and North Lowry Street. There was a deadly crash involving a motorcycle at the intersection on May 12.

Denise Frazier lives 2.5 miles from the intersection. She told News4 she would drive minutes out of the way just to avoid the busy intersection.

“My husband comes through from the Nissan plant and has to turn there and he’s seen many wrecks,” Frazier said. “I just don’t want anybody else to be hurt or worse get killed.”

That’s why she is sounding the alarm.

“I usually leave here, get on Nashville highway, and go the whole way into La Vergne to Murfreesboro Road, and then come that way,” Frazier said. “As far as pulling out down there, right there at Smyrna, if you go down Jefferson, No, I don’t do that.”

She wants something done at the busy intersection.

“In the past month, we’ve had two deaths. I couldn’t tell you how many accidents happen at that road on a daily basis,” Frazier said.

Smyrna officials said of the 34 crashes reported there since October 2020, two were suspected serious injury crashes, 11 minor injury crashes and 21 with vehicle damage.

“Another thing that’s really bad down there is some people don’t know how to make a turn. What said of the place to go,” Frazier said. “You go up and around and then cover over this way. Most of them don’t know how to do that and are way to straight. When they’re going this way, they go straight across, and of course that blocks the view.”

North Lowry Street, as it’s known in Smyrna, is a state highway.

“We’ve been told that the state has surveyed it and they’re going to get a traffic light there, but we’ve heard that for years,” Frazier said.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation told News4 it has completed a road safety audit for the Jefferson Pike/North Lowry Street intersection and already has a project in development for the location.

The project includes putting in a traffic signal and a realignment of both the east and west interchange ramps of Sam Ridley Parkway and North Lowry Street.

“A light there would stop so much,” Frazier said. “It would stop a lot of accidents.”

TDOT said the developing project is in the design phase and is scheduled to enter the right of way phase in 2023 and bid out for construction in 2024 pending available funds. TDOT said the project is a priority for the department and the Town of Smyrna.

According to a TDOT audit, 38 crashes have happened at the intersection during the three-year study period from 2014 to 2017. It also said speed was a factor in some of the crashes at the intersection.

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