The new stoplight on Oak Ridge Turnpike could start flashing next week and begin operating on December 30, a city official said. The new stoplight is between Oak Ridge High School and Oak Ridge Civic Center.
City officials want to start operating the stoplight while school is out, said Roger Flynn, director of the Oak Ridge Public Works Department.
The light poles and power have been installed, but the lights themselves still need to be hung and work on signs for the traffic light is under way.
The City Council approved a contract to install the stoplight in a 4-3 vote in April. Former Public Works Director Gary Cinder, who has since retired, said the light will be green most of the time on Oak Ridge Turnpike. But it will turn red when cars are leaving the High School, giving those drivers a green light.
The traffic signal lights will turn all-red when pedestrians are crossing, Cinder said.
City officials said the new light could eliminate the need for a crossing guard. Installing it could cost roughly $177,000, officials said in April. It was to be paid for using unspent money from the Special Programs Fund, the fund set up for traffic, pedestrian, and bicycle safety projects using money from the traffic cameras that were removed last year.
The contract was awarded to S&W Contracting Company Inc. of Murfreesboro. That company submitted the lowest of two bids.
There has also been other recent work along Oak Ridge Turnpike between the High School and Civic Center. Flynn said AT&T was putting in an underground enclosure for large cables.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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