City, university teaming up for Normal and Sprigg traffic light

Friday, July 12, 2002

After years of discussion the intersection of Normal Avenue and Sprigg Street will finally have a traffic signal.

City engineer Mark Lester said that the timing for the project was just right.

"We finally got enough money and support," he said.

Initial work on the signal has already begun, with the main work to start at the beginning of next week, Lester said.

It is not known whether the construction will cause any street closings at this time, but Lester said it would be more likely that Normal Avenue could be closed rather than Sprigg Street.

The project, which will cost about $147,000, is being done by Cotner Electric. The city and Southeast Missouri State University will share the project's cost with about 55 percent of the funds coming from the city. No money will be taken out of the city's transportation trust fund.

The issue of a traffic signal at the intersection of Normal and Sprigg has come before the city council several times over the last five years, and in 1999 the city even proposed the possibility of a roundabout.

Lester said that the idea of a roundabout was discussed seriously, but that due to the uncertainty around roundabouts the idea just went away.

A roundabout was proposed, in part, because of concerns involving vision problems for drivers approaching from the north and south.

There are still sight distance problems with the signals, Lester said, but with the help of signs and raising awareness those problems can possibly be avoided.

"We're just going to have to wait and see," Lester said.

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