Stop signs coming to Church St. intersections; N. Main to be rehabbed

By Gary Scott on February 9, 2016 at 12:43pm

Jacksonville’s Street Department is taking out the stop lights at two major intersections near downtown, and replacing them with stop signs.

It’s been nearly two years since the stop lights at College Avenue and Church Street, along with State and Church Streets, turned to flashing red. It was announced at last night’s City Council meeting that the lights will be removed.

Jacksonville Planning and Public Works Committee Chairman Bill Scott says it’ll take some getting used to.

“They both have probably the oldest stop lights. That’s all they’ll do is flash on and off, they are no longer functional, and if we did put them back, we would have to put up new lights. So, the Street Department has proposed to have an electrician cut the power off, and the Street Department, at their convenience, will remove them,” says Scott.

“Probably beforehand, the stop signs will be folded out so you get used to seeing stop signs there, and then when they are removed, they will be stop signs, just like at Clay and College, Diamond and College,” he continues.

As you just heard Scott say, there are stop signs at other high-traffic areas, but there was concern from Jacksonville Police Chief Tony Grootens last night. He believes flashing lights are more affective traffic control devices.

Just last August, an 85-year-old man was killed after being hit by a vehicle at Church and College.

Also last night, aldermen approved resolutions for construction agreements with Hutchison Engineering and funding appropriations for an improvement project for North Main Street.

“We’re excited to have North Main rehabbed from basically the railroad tracks towards the south end, up to Independence with new roadway and curb and gutter and sidewalks, and then, we’re going to continue with some normal road repair, milling from Independence to Walnut. That won’t include curb and gutter and sidewalks at this time, but it will be a new surface as far as the road,” says Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard.

“It’s a big project, but we really felt it’ll blend in nicely with the rehab downtown.”

The local contribution, to be paid from Motor Fuel Tax funds, is $418,000, according to Hutchison engineer Jim Burke, with the rest of the $1.7-million project coming from federal sources.

The project is expected to begin in April.