The Tennessee Department of Transportation has approved the county's request for the installation of flashing beacon lights at the intersection of U.S. 70 and State Highway 83 near Kilgore's Restaurant.
County Mayor Mike Foster says even though the county will have to bear the costs, the lights are needed because this is a dangerous intersection and several serious traffic accidents have occurred there in recent years. "The way it will probably be engineered, it won't be a four way stop but there will be flashing red lights on each side of highway 83 and flashing caution lights on highway 70. We are estimating that by the time we pay the engineer and the other costs, it'll probably be in the neighborhood of $20,000. But it's a dangerous intersection. We tried to get the state to do it (install the lights) but they said they were not in that business."
The lights will be installed overhead above the highways, instead of by the sides of the roads, as the county had preferred. Foster says TDOT indicated that Highway 70 was too wide for the lights to be on the side of the road. State officials were also concerned that the lights would be more prone to being struck by passing motorists if they were by the highway.
The county commission, on Monday night, voted to advertise bids for this project.