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Traffic light at Highway 80 and Savannah Avenue to begin working Tuesday

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Posted: May 31, 2007 5:47 p.m.
Updated: June 15, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    Two months after the redesigned intersection of Highway 80 and Savannah Avenue was completed, the traffic light at the location will be activated early next week.
    The light was placed on flash mode Thursday and will stay that way through the weekend. Its scheduled to be switched on Tuesday morning.
    The timetable was requested by the city of Statesboro, said Steve Price, construction project manager for the Georgia Department of Transportation. The DOT's role helped with the installation and inspection to ensure the light conforms to state specifications.
    Statesboro City Engineer Maz Elhaj said the light will allow for easier left turns onto Highway 80 and also reduces the risk of accidents from people making unsafe turns after getting tired of waiting.
    The intersection was reconfigured to reduce the severe angle at which Savannah Ave. intersected with the highway. Since it opened in March, only right turns have been allowed from Savannah Ave.
    Elhaj said the light will make it much safer for people crossing that intersection, particularly those turning left onto Highway 80.
    "(Right now) motorists cant find a proper gap and get caught in the middle of the highway," Elhaj said. "With this signal, that will be eliminated because they'll have the proper green to cross."
    Elhaj said there were several reasons for the light not being installed until after the project was completed, including dealing with separate contractors and the materials needed for the intersection.
    "You don't want the contractors on top of each other while they're trying to get the road done," Elhaj said. "Also, the concrete poles have to be ordered and made specifically for that location, which can take six to eight weeks to be made."
    He also said that because the light was being installed on a state route, everything needed to be approved by the DOT before being installed, which takes time.
    "The delay was nobody's fault," he said. "It's just a process that has to run its course."
    Construction has begun on the final phase of the project, which will extend the road to the campus of Statesboro High School.
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