POMEROY — The new traffic lights at the intersection of state routes 7 and 124 will officially be up four days earlier than previously announced.
The lights, initially set to begin their new traffic pattern on Dec. 21, are now set to begin Dec. 17, according to road signs announcing the new date.
David Rose, public information officer for Ohio Department of Transportation District 10, said the construction engineering department is working with the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office to determine the best way to inform the public aside from the road signs near the intersection.
Currently, the light poles are up and two signal heads in each direction have been installed on SR 124. The signal heads will be covered with plastic until operational. Rose said the new signals and turn lanes will reduce congestion and the risk of side and angle crashes. Ultimately, traffic will flow more efficiently through the intersection, he added.
“We just ask that motorists be patient when using the new interchange and to obey all traffic laws,” Rose said.
The lights will be fully efficient at all times, and are operated by SmartSensor Advance, Rose said. This allows the lights to detect when a vehicle is approaching the cross bar — or the bar that allows for detection of stop lights — before the car even reaches the bar. This includes knowing how fast the car is going, the distance from the stop light and its estimated time of arrival to the stop sign, according to wavetronix.com.
Rose said the new lights also have multi-beam radar imaging which allow them to recognize whether a car is stopped before they get to the bar no matter the weight of the vehicle. This can help benefit drivers of motorcycles or scooters, who often have the issue of stop lights not recognizing them because they are not the size of a vehicle, Rose said.
“Traffic engineer experts come out with something new and we try to work with them,” Rose said. “These lights are highly advanced. It’s not something we see everywhere across the state.”
An Ohio 143 project is also in the works, but will take longer due to the need for an environmental study and right-of-way project development. According to the latest information, Rose said the Ohio 143 project will begin in 2017, with bids for the project going out in July of that year.
Teresa Shiflet, a local resident who helped to bring attention to the necessity of the traffic lights to Rose, expressed her gratitude and happiness over the completion of this particular project.
“I’m pleased to see the progress that ODOT is making at the intersection of 124 and 7 and am looking forward to the project being completed,” she said. “I’m hoping the lights and turn lanes will make the area safer for motorists. I’ve said it in the past but I’d like to reiterate my sentiment of thanks to ODOT for seeing this through to its completion.”
For more information visit www.wavetronix.com/en/products/smartsensor/advance.