Crew members of Green Light Electric Inc. of Weaverville were busy this week installing the signals that will stop traffic on US 221 Business and Mount Jefferson Road.
According to Dwayne Bauguess, traffic signal supervisor with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the light is expected to be flashing by Jan. 4 and will flash for several days to get motorists used to the new light. The stop lights are expected to be in operation starting Jan. 8. This timeline will depend, Bauguess said, on weather conditions and when Blue Ridge Electric provides power to the site.
NCDOT workers will be installing warning signs informing motorists of the new traffic light and paint white stop lines on the road at the signal. Motorists are asked to be cautious at this intersection while getting used to the new traffic signals.
In February, Dean Ledbetter, P.E. Division 11 Traffic Engineer for the NC Department of Transportation, said that the traffic signal project at the intersection of US 221 Business and Mount Jefferson Road was approved in January by the Spot Safety Oversight Committee. The project was presented to the Board of Transportation for their approval in April, and then the Traffic Engineering Branch granted spending authority to proceed with the project.
West Jefferson Town Manager Greg McGinnis said the town is not responsible for any of the cost of this new signal. The project is funded by NCDOT.
The stop light will be a welcome feature for motorists who have spent many long minutes attempting to turn left off Mount Jefferson Road to travel into downtown West Jefferson, as well as motorists attempting to turn left onto Mount Jefferson Road from US 221 Business. Control of the traffic should also assist vehicles from Ashe County Rescue Squad, located on Mount Jefferson Road, and school buses needing to get through this intersection.