Deadly intersection will get traffic signal

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Behind the woods along Back Beach Road and Allison Avenue, residents say one sound in particular wracks their nerves all too often.

A new light will be installed at the intersection of Back Beach Road and Allison Avenue after Florida Department of Transportation conducted a study. (WJHG/WECP)

"You know sometimes I'm in the backyard and I can hear the crunching metal and I know it's an accident," said Panama City Beach resident Charles Cooper.

On Tuesday morning, a semi truck and a sedan headlined the latest deadly crash at the intersection.

Cooper left his house to help direct traffic, something he says he does frequently at the intersection.

"It was a mess," Cooper described. "Well everybody's getting in the way over there and I wanted to stop it so I just walked over there and I just voluntarily started helping."

But Cooper believes there's a solution to the problem.

"I can't understand why they haven't put a traffic light there," he said.

Florida Department of Transportation officials tell us they've been closely monitoring this intersection, and after a recent study, a traffic light is now in the future for Allison Avenue and Back Beach Road.

"Recently the numbers have shown that due to the increased amount of traffic in this area, as well as the amount of crashes that we're seeing here, a traffic signal was warranted at this intersection," said Ian Satter, a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) spokesperson.

The FDOT study shows from 2013 to 2017, 54 accidents occurred here. Thirty-one percent of crashes happened when it's dark outside.

In 2024 the intersection will get a new traffic signal. The holdup is money.

"We had to complete our study and now that our study has shown that a signal is warranted for this intersection, the next step is acquiring that funding."

The total project will cost around $367,000.

FDOT officials and residents are encouraging people to be extra cautious in the area in the meantime.

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