Colorful lights look nice at Christmas time; and the red, yellow and green lights planned to be placed at the Normal Square intersection in Mahoning Township in time for the holiday will especially be enjoyed. Actually, they will likely be appreciated year-round.

The lights will be new traffic signals at the intersection of Route 443 and Mill Road. The project has been in the talking and planning stages for years, while traffic accidents continued.

Work began Wednesday by Telco Inc., of Reading, who was hired by the Carbon County commissioners, on prepping the intersection for the actual installation.

Steve Feeny, project foreman, said he expects the new lights to be operational by Christmas.

The new poles for the lights are scheduled to arrive in November.

Yesterday, Telco workers began installing conduits for electrical lines and making curb improvements.

The intersection has gotten a reputation as being dangerous because of the number of accidents which have occurred here over the years, including some fatalities.

Presently there are only flashing yellow lights at the intersection.

The cost for the traffic light project is higher than officials initially estimated.

When bids were opened at a Carbon County commissioners' meeting in August, the low bidder, Telco Inc., submitted a bid of $155,400, $20,000 higher than the estimate.

The cost will be covered mostly by the county, which set aside $115,000 in Community Development Block Grant monies, as well as a $20,000 grant from state Rep. Keith McCall (D-Carbon).

No decision has been announced on where the remaining $20,000 will come from.