BLOUNTVILLE — There’s no timeline for its completion, but work toward getting a traffic signal installed at the intersection of Highway 11-W and Highway 394 is in its early stages.
Residents of the area passed a petition seeking a signal there nearly 20 months ago.
Since then, in just the past 18 months there have been more than 100 wrecks at the intersection, Sullivan County Mayor Steve Godsey said Monday.
He spoke before the Sullivan County Commission voted on a proposal from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
Commissioners OK’d that proposal, giving TDOT a green light to begin right of way and easement acquisition, and to ultimately begin work.
TDOT will fund installation of the signal and other improvements to the intersection. Once it’s operational, the county will provide maintenance and pay the electric bill.
On Tuesday, a TDOT spokesman said the project is in the preliminary engineering phase.
Travis Brickey, regional community relations officer for TDOT, said he didn’t have any information about a petition from residents seeking the signal.
The project, as per TDOT policy, would have been initiated after a request from local government, Brickey said.
Godsey said he had met with TDOT officials at the intersection to talk about the need for a traffic signal, based on the number of wrecks there.
TDOT officials are optimistic the right of way plans will be complete by the first of the year, Brickey said.
Project plans also call for improvement to turn lanes at the intersection, Brickey said.
Godsey said a flashing sign might also be placed east of the intersection on Highway 11-W to warn westbound motorists when the signal is red.