FLORENCE, Wis. - Florence County officials will be looking into ways to reduce the number of accidents on the curved section of U.S. 2 just south of the Brule River Bridge in Florence.
Just last week, two Illinois men were injured in a one-vehicle roll over crash at the curve. They were transported to Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in Iron Mountain, then transferred to St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay, Wis. for treatment of their injuries.
Florence County Sheriff Jeff Rickaby said that according to his department's records, there have been five significant accidents and several more minor incidents at the curve in the past three years.
A truck travels around the curve on U.S. 2 just south of the Brule River Bridge in Florence County. There have been several accidents at the curve over the past few years, including a serious crash just last week.
Nikki Younk/Daily News Photo
"The number one cause of the accidents is speed," Rickaby explained. "They've all been east-bound (traveling from Michigan into Wisconsin), so they're coming down a big hill with passing lanes. All of the sudden, there's this sharp corner, and they're not ready for it."
Rickaby said that he will be meeting with members of the Florence County Board of Supervisors and the Florence County Highway Department to discuss the issue. Possible solutions might include increased signage or rumble strips, he added.
The curve south of the Brule River Bridge is not the only problem spot on U.S. 2 in the county. Other areas are the curve near Twin Falls Road in Spread Eagle, Wis. and the curve near Second Crossing Road in Florence.
According to Rickaby, there are more accidents annually at the Twin Falls curve than at any other area in the county.
He said that one reason for the accidents in that area is the fact that there are several businesses with parking lots right next to the roadway. Vehicles may be slowing down on the curved roadway to enter the parking lots or pulling out of the parking lots onto the curved roadway.
Even though there are more accidents at the Twin Falls curve, accidents at the Second Crossing curve are often more serious.
There have been two fatal accidents at the Second Crossing curve in the past four years.
Rickaby added that there is a simple way to reduce the number of accidents on any road in the county - drivers must slow down.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.