COMBINED LOCKS, Wis. (WFRV) – Nine-year-old Mackenzie Van Eperen from Kimberly was attempting to cross South Washington Street, where it intersects with Wallace Street, on her bicycle on June 2 when tragedy struck.

Van Eperen was hit by a semi-truck and died from her injuries. Now, Outagamie County officials are making upgrades to the intersection, allowing for safer travel.

Local 5’s Bryce Oselen caught up with Dean Steingraber, the Outagamie County Highway Commissioner, who said the deadly crash happened in a school zone.

“Representatives from the Outagamie County Highway Department, Combined Locks, Kimberly, and police are actively reviewing safety improvements at the Wallace and Washington Street intersection,” explained Steingraber. “The Kimberly Area School District is also in the process of updating its safe routes to school action plan.”

Steingraber says they hired an engineering firm that has suggested ways to help with visibility.

“Some of them were trimming tree branches that could be covering or distracting from the traffic signals,” said Steingraber. “That type of stuff has been done. The pavement markings where the crosswalks are were freshened up and brightened up. Some of the stop bars that lead up to the crosswalks were freshened up.

The upgrades are expected to be finished by the end of August.

“I think it definitely will help,” stated Steingraber. “We are always doing our best to make sure the roads are safe for vehicles, for trucks, for cars, for pedestrians, for bikes, anybody that is using them. That is our responsibility as a municipality and county and state officials.”

The independent engineering firm hired by Outagamie County is completing a study of the entire corridor to prevent future accidents.