TxDOT to create highway turning lane near Franklin Safari Park

ROBERTSON COUNTY, Tex. (KBTX) – The Texas Department of Transportation is working to improve a stretch of Highway 79 that drivers call dangerous.

Daily, hundreds of vehicles zip by the Franklin Safari Park in Robertson County. On days when the park is busy, you can almost always count on a slowdown on the two-lane road.

"It's a lot of traffic and if someone is trying to turn there is a lot of people behind them and they don't slow down enough and then there is an accident,” said Derek Scrimshire of Robertson County.”

Earlier this year, there was a large pile up in front of the wildlife park. Several people were injured.

Residents who live nearby say the spot is a traffic hazard.

"I went down to the highway department in Hearne I asked them what could be done,” said Owen Scrimshire.

Scrimshire, like several of his neighbors, including the safari parks owner, says they've been asking for a solution.

Construction crews recently started work on a turning lane into the park. The road will be widened to make room for a left turn lane.

Right now vehicles that make right-hand turns have a ten-foot wide outside shoulder to use.