New traffic light installed

Published 10:17 pm Saturday, May 23, 2009

Residents of Spradley Drive will need to take a little extra caution when leaving their homes this week but not because it’s unsafe.

Actually, thanks to a new traffic light installed at the intersection of Spradley Drive and Highway 87, residents should be able to travel with more ease. The light has been flashing since last week, but this Tuesday, May 26, the light will begin working as a normal traffic light.

“It had to flash for seven days before we could turn it on,” said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford.

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The project is one the Troy City Councilman Jason Reeves and Pike County Commissioner Jimmy Barron have been pushing to get for about two years.

“We started this several years ago, but we had to have justification to put in a new traffic light,” Lunsford said. So, the city ordered Skipper Engineers to conduct a traffic study, and the initial study said there was not enough traffic to support it. “If you live off Spradley, you always though there was a lot of traffic, but there wasn’t enough,” Lunsford said. But, since the Oak Park Subdivision started construction, the story changed. “There were four subdivisions off of this street,” Barron said. “My concern was the high traffic.” Lunsford said the project was a joint effort of the city of Troy, the Alabama Department of Transportation and local developer Hugh Wheeless.

The city probably spent around $50,000 of their money, Lunsford said, but a combination of time and funding from Wheeless and DOT employees probably brought the cost to around $100,000. Barron, who works for the transportation department and worked personally to put up the light, said he advises residents to use extra caution in getting used to the traffic light. He said typically, the most accidents in new traffic lights come from residents who are not used to them being in place.