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Lights upgraded at busy intersection

Construction of new traffic signals at the North Jackson Streetand Industrial Park Road intersection is nearing completing, andthe lights should be in operation next week.

“Hopefully Monday morning, we’ll be able to cut the new signalson,” said Mike Hart, foreman for B & B Utility Contractors.

Hart said crews have been working on the intersection signalsfor about two weeks. B&B also handled installation of newIndustrial Park Road overpass lights, which have been in operationsince last Wednesday.

The traffic signal and overpass lighting projects costapproximately $90,000, Hart said. Funding for the projects camefrom money left over following completion of the overpass severalyears ago.

Hart said crews worked off and on for about a month on theoverpass lights, also handling projects in other communities whilewaiting for the light poles to arrive. The poles arrived in lateOctober.

“It’s been a while since we’ve been down there,” Hart said.

Once the new signal arms are in place, Hart said an old utilitypole on the southwest corner of the intersection will have to comedown. A pole on the northeast corner is attached to electric linesand has to stay in place.

Hart touted several benefits associated with the new trafficsignals.

“It’ll work traffic better,” Hart said. “It’ll be a lot safercoming off Industrial onto Jackson Street.”

Hart said two left turn lanes are being installed for east- andwest-bound traffic on Industrial Park Road.

“With all the trucks out here, they’re going to need it,” Hartsaid.

Also, the signals are installed with monitors to give emergencyvehicles the right-of-way when they approach the intersection.

During normal operation, Hart said Industrial Park Road trafficwill have the right of way. Monitors in the pavement will signalthe lights to change when there is traffic on North JacksonStreet.

Around 3 p.m., during shift changes at several industries, Hartsaid the signals will provide extra time to move employee trafficalong.

“It’s hold the side streets off a little longer,” Hart said.