COLUMBIA — The two-way stop at the intersection of Fairview Road and Ash Street is not as effective as it could be.
At the intersection now, two stop signs sit on Ash Street, and left turns are not allowed. If traffic signals were added, there would be less backed up traffic, and left turns would be allowed, said Richard Stone, project engineer for the Public Works Deparment.
The Public Works Department made a proposal to the Columbia City Council to construct a span-wire signal — traffic lights hanging from wires strung above the road. The span-wire signals are just as effective as permanent traffic lights, but they are less expensive, Stone said.
- Stone said the department already has the equipment: the traffic lights, wires and signal cabinet that were previously used at the intersection of Scott Boulevard and Chapel Hill Road. That intersection’s temporary span-wire traffic lights were replaced by permanent ones.
- If approved, the improvements to the intersection would cost an estimated $75,000 and would be funded through the city's capital improvement project fund .
- The Public Works Department hopes to have the project completed by late summer or fall. Stone said the project should last one to two months and should not affect traffic flow at the intersection.
Fred Schmidt, First Ward councilman, attended an informational meeting Thursday at Paxton Keeley Elementary School. Schmidt said that he thinks the signalization is a good idea, and the council will look favorably on it.
“I think neighbors will be very pleased with this improvement,” Schmidt said.
The project will be presented at a public hearing at either the first or second City Council meeting in May, Stone said.