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It will cost $10M to make the Red Hill and Linc safer, report says

A consultant is recommending more than $10 million in safety measures for the highways.
Ten collisions were reported to police on the Red Hill Valley Parkway on a Saturday in October. A consultant recommends the city make $10 million in safety upgrades to the Red Hill and Lincoln Alexander parkways. (Bob Hatcher)

It will cost a combined $10 million to make the Red Hill Valley Parkway and Lincoln Alexander Parkway safer for drivers, says a consulting company the city hired to study the roads.

CIMA says it will cost $4,395,200 to do a series of safety measures on the Red Hill, and $5,966,090 on the Linc.

Suggestions for Red Hill include speed feedback signs, rain-activated flashing beacons, and a $2.5-million high-tension cable guide rail. It also recommends $810,000 for "continuous illumination" as a long-term goal.

As for the Linc, the report suggests a $5,569,000 high-tension steel cable median barrier system and $105,000 for shoulder rumble strips.

The review came after two 19-year-olds — Jordyn Hastings and Olivia Smosarski — died in a crash on the Red Hill in May. They were in a Mazda that crossed a median and hit a van driven by a 28-year-old woman, who walked away with minor injuries.

After their deaths, internet commenters wondered aloud by the highway has no median. Coun. Sam Merulla asked the city to look into possibilities. Even before Merulla's motion, city staff were reviewing the safety of a portion of the Linc.

Since the Red Hill parkway opened 10 years ago, staff say, there have been 201 collisions. Nineteen have involved crossing the median. Hastings and Smosarki were the first deaths.

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