In an effort to improve safety and traffic flow, the Missouri Department of Transportation plans to reconfigure the crossover intersection at U.S. Route 67 and Route H, located south of Farmington, Missouri, with a j-turn intersection.
J-turns are effective in reducing traffic crashes at intersections on divided highways.
“Traditional median intersections have approximately 42 conflict points. J-turns decrease the number of conflict points and help reduce the severity of crashes,” said MoDOT Project Manager Pete Berry.
Instead of motorists crossing fast-moving lanes of traffic to get to the opposing lanes, drivers at j-turn intersections turn right in the same direction of traffic, merge into the left lane, and then make a u-turn in the direction they intend to travel.
Construction is expected to begin in summer 2022, with completion anticipated in fall 2022. As work is underway, motorists should expect periodic single lane closures on Route 67 and Route H. The median crossing will be removed with this project.
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To learn more or view the printable project handout, please click the link below.
What are J-turns?
The J-turn is an alternative to traditional roadway intersections on a four-lane highway. Instead of motorists crossing fast-moving lanes of traffic to get to the opposing lanes, drivers at a J-turn intersection turn right in the same direction of traffic, merge into the left lane, and then make a u-turn in the direction they intend to travel. Although drivers will have to travel slightly further to get where they want to go, using J-turns can take the same or less time than trying to wait for a safe and appropriate gap to cross traffic.
The point of these turns it to greatly reduce – or even eliminate -- a significant number of severe crashes common when drivers must cross-over busy highways to reach another road.
In the J-turn design drivers turn right in the same direction of traffic, and merge safely into the left lane to prepare to make a left turn in the direction they intended to travel. This option uses an extended deceleration lane, basically adding a third lane on the highway to allow traffic making a left turn onto opposing lanes to safely pull off the mainline, out of the way of high speed traffic. In addition, acceleration lanes may be constructed to allow traffic an opportunity to gain speed after turning onto the highway.
How do J-turns enhance safety?
J-turns have proven to be a safer alternative to a traditional roadway intersection on a four-lane highway because they eliminate or greatly reduce right-angle crashes, the crash type most responsible for fatalities and serious injuries at intersections. In fact, the installation of J-turns at similar intersections throughout Missouri and the nation have shown a substantial decrease in fatal and serious injury crashes. Basically, they eliminate the need for motorists to cross the high-speed lanes of traffic to get to the opposing lanes.
Studies done by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program show J-turns provide significant reduction in right-angle, “far” side crashes.
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