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MODOT installs radar speed sign following fatal crash in KCMO

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The I-70 & I-435 interchange near the Truman Sports Complex is one of the busiest in the metro and at times can be considered dangerous.

First responders are all too familiar with the ramp at the interchange that connects westbound Interstate 70 to southbound Interstate 435.

Every day more than a 10,000 drivers use the ramp, according to Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT).

The ramp’s speed limit: 25 miles per hour.

But early last November, investigators say the driver of a semi didn’t slow down before taking the ramp’s sharp curve. As a result, the rig overturned and killed the 23-year old driver, Qays Abdifarah.

Abdifarah was driving for Salasum Trucking LLC, a company in Omaha, Nebraska.

A representative with the trucking company said Abdifarah was from Somalia.

A few weeks after his death, a radar speed sign went up.

“We installed that to add extra emphasis to driver,” said Derek Olson, a District Traffic Engineer with MODOT.

Olson said there are two other radar speed signs in the metro, one on northbound I-435 to northbound I-35 in the Northland and in Harrisonville on northbound MO Highway 7 to northbound I-49.

“The radar signs are located where they will grab people’s attention and cause them to slow down,” Olson said.

Many of the vehicles seen approaching the curve and passing the sign were doing 40 mph and above.

However, MODOT said it’s too early to judge if the radar signs will work or not in the long term.

“It does take time to see the effects of it and so far we’re very pleased with the results,” Olson said.

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