No changes planned for Catfish Lake Road after deadly crash

Published: Friday, January 17, 2014 at 11:17 AM.

“Guard rails are a double-edged sword,” he said. “Unfortunately when you get on Catfish Lake Road there are ditches on both sides and it’s not feasible to run guard rails down the length of the entire road. The same goes for shoulders. As far as lighting goes, the road doesn’t get enough usage to justify lighting.”

One thing that may possibly change, according to Hunter, is the speed limit. The Department of Transportation in Raleigh, he said, is currently evaluating whether the speed limit should be reduced to 35 mph since speed has been noted as a common factor in most of the fatalities on the road.

“For the most part, it’s a very wide road and it’s in great shape,” he said. “It’s got some shoulders and it’s safe for driving — if you obey the speed limit.”

Marine Corps Installations East in 2010 restricted Marines from using the road unless they were hunting, fishing or participating in other recreational activities, citing the high volume of crashes.

“These accidents have an obvious effect on the health and welfare of Marines and sailors and have adversely affected unit readiness,” the order states. “The risk of vehicle mishaps along Catfish Lake Road are significantly higher because of the curves, blind spots, lack of posted speed limits, and absence of roadway lighting at night.”

The Marine Corps has no plans to further limit the use of Catfish Lake Road, said Nat Fahy, the public affairs representative for Marine Corps Installations East.

“The order specifically prohibits them from using this road as a cut-through when traveling between Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point,” he said. “Visible warning signs are posted on either end of this road citing this order, which was put in place to safeguard lives and prevent future tragedies from occurring.

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