Police chief says traffic light needed at intersection
by David Atchison
PELL CITY – Police Chief Greg Turley said a traffic light is needed at the intersection of U.S. 78 and Hardwick Road.

The council recently passed a resolution authorizing the city manager and mayor to enter into an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation to install a new light signal at the intersection.

City Manager Patrick Draper said Friday a check in the amount of $40,000, half of the cost of installing the new light signal, was sent to ALDOT this week, along with the resolution passed by the council.

The state and city are sharing the cost of installing the new light.

“I applaud the Council and ALDOT for identifying the need for it,” Turley said. “I think there is a real need for one there.”

A traffic study was completed by ALDOT, and took almost one year to complete.

“It is a wonderful, permanent solution to a problem,” Turley said.

He said traffic backs up in the Pell City Industrial Park when there is a shift change at WKW, an automotive supplier.

Turley said the problem is even worse during the school year because school ends about the same time as a shift change.

“It’s pretty busy,” he said. “The biggest thing is the shear number of vehicles coming out of the industrial park.”

The intersection is so busy during a shift change police officers are pulled from other duties to direct traffic at the intersection.

Turley said with a new light install, officers will not have to be pulled from other duties.

“We want to encourage more industries,” he said, adding that people getting off work don’t want to sit in long lines of traffic, trying to get home.

The intersection is so congested it also poses safety risks for drivers entering or crossing U.S. 78.

He said drivers will have to get use to the new light.

He said the light could be adjusted at first by ALDOT as a caution flashing light so drivers can get use to it before it is changed over to a normal traffic signal.

Turley said drivers need to be extra cautious before pulling out or driving across U.S. 78 until local drivers become accustom to the new traffic signal.

Draper said ALDOT is expected to install the new traffic light within four or five month, about September.

Contact David Atchison at datchison@dailyhome.com

© 2013