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Starting Monday, crews will begin making a series of safety improvements to the intersection of East Benton Street and South 2nd Avenue. The project will see raised medians added to the intersection that will limit the amount of traffic movements available to motorists. Once completed, the biggest change will be that drivers looking to enter traffic on Benton Street from 2nd Avenue will only be allowed to turn right. Motorists will still be able to turn left from Benton Street onto 2nd Avenue. “According to accident figures from 2007 to 2011, 35 crashes occurred at the intersection including three serious injury accidents and/or fatalities,” said Deirdre Castillo, P.E., City Engineer. “The design we will be implementing potentially could have eliminated 26 of those accidents.” “As the City’s Public Works leaders, our primary concern is the health and safety of residents,” explained Michael Jaglowski, P.E., Public Works Director. “By eliminating potential conflict points, we can be better stewards of their health and safety.” Also the effort will see new ADA ramps installed on all corners, replacement of old sidewalk, and installation of street lights. During construction, access to Benton Street from 2nd Avenue will be closed, as well as intermittent lane closures on Benton Street. The project is scheduled to be completed by the middle of November but, due to inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances, work may be postponed or rescheduled. Officials apologize for any inconvenience the work may cause. The total cost of the project is roughly $313,000 with 92.66 % being paid through federal sources and 7.34% paid by the City through cash and in-kind contributions.