New traffic controls installed at Hampton intersection
Published 8:21 am Thursday, December 18, 2014
A months-long project to improve the safety of a busy highway intersection came to life Wednesday as new traffic lights went online in Hampton.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation installed the traffic lights at the intersection of Highway 19E and U.S. 321 to replace the previous traffic control system — a single stop sign for traffic turning onto 19E from U.S. 321.
“The traffic signal should be safer and more efficient,” TDOT Graduate Transportation Associate Camren Yarberry said. “It’s definitely a big improvement.”
Many residents have expressed concerns over the years regarding safety at the busy intersection.
“Over time, traffic volume gets bigger and bigger as the population grows and towns expand,” Yarberry said. “The traffic volumes at this intersection outgrew the previous traffic control.”
The project to install the new traffic lights began in late August, Yarberry said.
On Wednesday at 11 a.m. the traffic lights went online with only a minor hitch.
“Two of the lights weren’t working correctly, but they fixed those; it only took a couple of minutes,” Yarberry said.
In addition to Yarberry, workers from Elliot Electrical Contractors were on hand Wednesday morning to help bring the signals on line.
The electrical contractors fixed the two improperly working lights, Yarberry said, and worked to adjust the timing of the traffic lights to make sure traffic continued to flow smoothly without issues.
In addition to the traffic signal project, TDOT has also been working on another safety improvement to Highway 19E which extended the turning lane from the highway for vehicles turning onto the road leading to Hampton High School.