Families of car crash victims push for Krome Ave. improvements - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Families of car crash victims push for Krome Ave. improvements

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SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida mother is leading the charge when it comes to improving a road some refer to as "Killer Krome." Her son, was among dozens of victims, who have died on it.

Krome Avenue, also known as Southwest 177th Avenue, is a narrow stretch of road that has claimed 10 lives in 2014 alone.

One of those lives lost was of 22-year-old Anthony Rodriguez, also known as "DJ Sonic C." His mother, Rita Rodriguez, said, "I saw the picture actually on TV, and that's how I deducted, and I had a gut feeling because he wasn't home, and it was 6 o'clock in the morning."

Anthony, who was on his way home from a party, was killed when a driver crossed the center lane on Krome Avenue, back in January.

Five months later, his mother and other families who have also lost loved ones on Krome Avenue, gathered to push plans to widen the road. "I need to tell you why I am here: because my son's gone," said Rita Rodriguez, as she spoke Thursday at a meeting of the Metropolitan Planning Organization's governing board.

The MPO board gave residents an update on the plans to proceed and also voted to expedite funding.

At this time, Krome Avenue has two very narrow lanes, one going in each direction. The Department of Transportation plan would widen Krome Avenue, by having two lanes on both sides for about 30 miles in Southwest Miami-Dade. A 40-foot median would also separate both sides, which will help prevent head-on collisions. The construction is set to start in May 2015.

Plans to start construction had been delayed since 1999. "During the project environment developmental study that took us longer to get done," said Harold Desdunes with the Florida Department of Transportation about the delay.

The project caused controversy, local businesses were concerned about reduced access. "They would create an unnecessary hardship on the businesses," said business owner Bernie Ortega.

Some victims families' have argued that the median is not enough. They want to raise barriers to divide traffic. "And that's a problem because you can cross over a median," said Rita Rodriguez.

The project will roughly cost half a billion dollars. But to the families who lost their loved ones, cost matters little if it saves lives. "I really want to save other people and I really think his legacy is that he saved someone else's life," said Rita Rodriguez.


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