ODOT has reduced the danger of an accident-prone curve on Highway 20 by increasing the size of its arc around a hill just east of Eddyville. The old curve has been the scene of a number of serious traffic crashes – 11 fatalities among ten accidents in recent years. The last fatal accident on the old curve occurred on October 25, 2012 when a Toledo father and daughter was headed home from the valley when they were struck head on in their lane. Daniel Loper 57, and his daughter April Loper, 34, were killed instantly. April’s two month old son, secured in an back car seat, survived the impact.
The new alignment, which makes the arc longer and more gradual, swings the highway farther to the south giving greater visibility to oncoming traffic and lessens the sharpness of the curve as the highway continues in a more westerly direction toward Eddyville. The highway will be adjusted again when the Eddyville/Pioneer Mountain Bypass is completed over the next three years. This location is the eastern end of the new bypass. Those wanting to head west on the bypass will enter it here, while those using the bypass coming from the west will get off here and resume their travel east on regular Highway 20.