- Michael Cooper Staff Writer
A permanent traffic signal at a controversial intersection near a busy shopping corridor in Springfield is expected to be ready later this month.
The signal — paid for by developers of the recent Hobby Lobby store north of Walmart — will replace temporary lights placed at the intersection years ago, Springfield City Engineer Leo Shanayda said.
“We hope to have it operational by the end of the month,” he said.
The Springfield engineer’s office hasn’t received any complaints about traffic flow recently in that area, Shanayda said.
In 2016, Springfield city commissioners rejected a proposed roundabout at the busy intersection after months of public outcry. Commissioners voted unanimously against the controversial $679,000 project, citing substantial opposition to the project, which would have been the first true roundabout in Springfield.
Transportation officials believed the roundabout would have reduced injury and fatal traffic crashes, and improved traffic flow and air quality.
However residents fought against the proposed plan. Many believed the roundabout would have confused drivers and lead to more accidents. More than 1,200 signatures were collected for a petition to stop the roundabout project.
During a three-year period, there were seven crashes — including one fatality and one injury — at the Bechtle Avenue intersection.
More than 33,300 vehicles entered the intersection during a 24-hour period in March of 2015, according to a traffic study.
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