CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Police have seen fewer crashes at a dangerous intersection in St. Albans now that the Dick Henderson Bridge connecting the town to Nitro has closed for construction.
In fact, there has been only one crash at the intersection of U.S. 60 and Third Street from Jan. 1 until April 30, said Capt. James Agee of the St. Albans Police Department.
In the same period last year, there were 17 crashes in the intersection and on the bridge. There were 39 crashes at that location for the whole year, he said.
The Henderson Bridge closed in January when construction crews began dismantling the 79-year-old span, forcing commuters to take alternate routes between the cities.
"I think when you reduce cross streets, it's going to make a difference," Agee said. "Instead of being a four-way intersection, it's a three-way intersection."
Agee said there have been 40 fewer crashes in the city this year compared to last year. He said in years past, the city has seen 90 to 100 or more crashes in the first five months of the year. Only 65 crashes have occurred in the city so far this year.
The captain said the area saw a milder winter than usual and had maybe only four or five days with weather that could have delayed traffic.
The city also has hired more police officers, and police have increased their visibility. Agee said the number of traffic stops has increased over the last few months.