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Normal Square light needs traffic signs, say officials

Published January 22. 2010 05:00PM

Carbon County officials want to make the new Normal Square light in Mahoning Township safer.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board discussed the need for four traffic signs that would let motorist know that a traffic light is ahead. They tabled the current agenda item that called for the installation of one of these signs at the Route 443 intersection until more information could be gathered.

All three commissioners felt it is necessary to request a price for three additional signs for the intersection. The cost for one sign is $455.

The reason for the signs, the commissioners say is to help make people more aware that there is now a traffic light, where there used to only be a blinking light.

On Dec. 28, 2009, an area woman was killed after her minivan collided with an ambulance at the intersection.

"In the aftermath of what was a terrible tragedy out there," said Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, who was referring to the fatal accident. "in hindsight, we think yes those signs should have been there."

He said the commissioners talked to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation about putting lighted signs up to alert motorists of the lights at the intersection.

"The more we can alert people of what is there, the better," O'Gurek said, adding that even if it costs another $2,000 to install the signs, that would be minimal if it helps to alert motorists of the lights and stop accidents from occurring.

The commissioners will now work on getting price quotes for four signs at the intersection and vote on the signs at a later date.

The county has been working on the intersection light project for years.

During that time, it set aside $115,000 in Community Development Block Grant monies, as well as a $20,000 grant from state Rep. Keith McCall (D-Carbon).

On Sept. 4, 2009, the board awarded the project contract to Telco Inc. of Reading, who bid $155,400.

Work on the lights began shortly after the contract was awarded and the project was completed in early December.

The lights officially became operational on Dec. 16.

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