BLOUNTVILLE - A traffic light at the intersection of Bloomingdale Pike and Alabama Street should be back in working order within the next week, according to comments made last week by Sullivan County's top road official.
On June 18, Commissioner of Highways Allan Pope said parts were on order to fix the red light.
Pope said repairs would hopefully be completed and the light would be working again within a couple of weeks.
He gave an update of the project after County Commissioner Elliott Kilgore asked why the traffic signal wasn't working and why it had been covered with plastic for several weeks.
"That is right now under contract," Pope said. "It hopefully will be up and running in the next two weeks."
The person doing the work is a "good friend" of his, Pope said, who will be coming to work for the county's highway department as of July 1.
As of that date, Pope said, the highway department will assume maintenance for all traffic signals operated by the county.
That's 17 signals, countywide, and the new hire has actually already worked on most of them, Pope said.
The man previously worked for the electrical contractor who has done most of the county's work for several years, Pope said.
He said that contractor is now "semi-retired."
"Since we were taking those things over, I wanted to have someone that knew what he was doing, and (he) does," Pope said. "He's got a degree in electronics, and he's worked on traffic signals for 15 or 20 years. He's a good friend of mine, and he'll do us a good job. Oddly enough, he's done most of the traffic signals we've got."
Kilgore said he has received a lot of telephone calls from county residents who live near or drive through the intersection on a regular basis.
"It's so dangerous," Kilgore said Wednesday of the intersection's lack of a working traffic signal. "I was up there today, and it's still covered up. Coming off Alabama you can't see up Bloomingdale."
Sullivan County's budget for fiscal year 2007, which ends Saturday, included more than $9.35 million for the county's highway department.
As of May 31, the department had less than $900,000 left, according to an expenditure report distributed to county commissioners earlier this month.