Monday, December 18th, 2017

Kearney signal work to begin next week

Replacing traffic signals on US 287 at Kearney Street will get underway next week now that workers have moved curbs out at each corner to accommodate the structures.

The Texas Department of Transportation says during this phase of the project the old traffic signals will be taken down, and the intersection will not be stop-controlled on US 287. In other words, highway traffic will not stop at the intersection. Temporary stop signs will be installed on the north and south sides of Kearney Street.

“While the new signal structures are being installed, the intersection of US 287 and Kearney Street will function similarly to other non-signalized intersections throughout Clarendon,” said Matt Herbstritt, TxDOT Childress Area Engineer. “Through-traffic on Kearney Street should take extra care to make sure the intersection is clear and safe to proceed before crossing US 287. Motorists can expect the new traffic signals to be installed and fully functional within a few weeks.”

Curbs have been moved out into Kearney Street at the intersection as part of this job, which has caused a lot of conversation around town and raised concerns about traffic safety and the ability of vehicles to negotiate turns going downtown.

Herbstritt says the changes were due to space requirements for the new signal structures and required ADA ramps.

“We ran into a limited amount of space for traffic structures and ADA ramps,” Herbstritt said. “In order to make things fit, we moved the structures out.”

The initial curb installation left a 90-degree curb jutting out between two ramp openings, but Herbstritt said that is going to be changed.

“We’re to take down that corner and give it slight radius and flatten those points,” he said.

In addition, the TxDOT project will improve access to sidewalks at the Donley County State Bank entrance and at the former Bivens Pharmacy building.

The project will also include the installation of pedestrian crosswalk lights, push buttons, and audible messages to make the intersection safer and fully ADA compliant. LED safety street lights will be installed, and the new signal poles will feature lighted street signs as well.

The new signal system itself will have a flashing yellow arrow for left turns off US 287. This new type of turn signal is intended to create a safer, more efficient left turn movement. When illuminated, the flashing yellow arrow means that a vehicle is allowed to cautiously enter an intersection to make the left turn indicated by the arrow, but the driver must first yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians before proceeding with caution.

Herbstritt said a solid green left arrow can only be installed when traffic studies warrant one. Traffic turning onto Kearney is not currently heavy enough for that, but he said the system would allow for that in the future if conditions change.

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