Heavy rains delay opening of traffic signals at Fairview and Ash intersection

Thursday, April 3, 2014 | 4:49 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The completion of new traffic signals at the intersection of Fairview Road and Ash Street, originally scheduled for Wednesday, has been delayed due to heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Steve Sapp, public information specialist for the Columbia Public Works Department, said most of the installation of the new signals is complete and that the final step is installing sensor loops. Those sensor loops are embedded into the pavement and detect vehicles at the stoplight, turning the light green for drivers to proceed through the intersection.

"We remain hopeful that we can get them in today. It's kind of a race against the weather right now," Sapp said.

Until the sensors are installed, the Fairview and Ash intersection will continue to have flashing red lights, acting as a four way stop.

Sapp said a traffic-control study conducted by the department found that motorists thought the wait at the stop sign on Ash was too long. He said impatient drivers would pull into the intersection and collide with cars moving on the free-flowing Fairview Road.

When the department saw the crash rate at the intersection start to increase, it decided that the intersection was a good candidate for signalized traffic control in hopes of reducing the number of accidents.

"The goal is to move traffic safely and more efficiently through the intersection," Sapp said.

The project cost $135,000. The signal was relocated from the intersection of Rock Quarry Road and Nifong Boulevard, where it was no longer needed.

Supervising editor is Allie Hinga.

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