The two-lane road known as Highway FF, just outside of Eureka, is a notoriously dangerous road. In fact, over the last seven years, it has been the location of more than one hundred crashes. Its crash rate is 25 percent higher than the Missouri average for similar roads. “Every time I drive home if its raining or snowing you can almost expect three or four cars in a ditch,” said Bain Turnbo, in an interview for KSDK.
Unfortunately, the road is paved with tragedy. Just ask Shawn Archambault. In 2010, Shawn’s daughter, Kaela Archambault, was on her way to work on Highway FF when she lost control of the vehicle; Kaela struck a stopped school bus and was killed instantly.
What is it that makes Highway FF so dangerous? It’s a merciless road, leaving the driver no margin for error. Built in the 1950s, it’s a sharply winding highway with no shoulder. Even if you’re a superb driver, you have to account for the driving of others. If someone veers into your lane, you’ve got nowhere to go.
In addition to its rather treacherous conditions, Highway FF is a road with a fairly high amount of traffic. Judy Wagner, an engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation, says, “Today this [Highway FF] is carrying over 3,000 cars a day and back then [in the 1950s] it carried maybe 3 or 5 a day.”
In the wake of his tragedy, Shawn Archambault wanted to do something to stop any more fatalities on Highway FF. With the help of Judy Wagner, Shawn formed an organized called One Curve at a Time. The mission of the organization is to build awareness of the hazardous highways and to fund change.
Thanks to Shawn and his organization, changes are coming to Highway FF. In April, groundbreaking will occur on a $1.7 million road improvement project. “It’s giving me a piece of Kaela back,” Shawn said about the project.
Bain Turnbo, who lost his mother to Highway FF, said “It’s just going to be an awesome thing to see people stop losing people to this road.”