Meadville Tribune

Local News

April 15, 2012

Should traffic lights be placed at all three intersections?

MEADVILLE — When the new Mead Avenue Bridge is completed in the next few years, a traffic signal will be installed at that intersection with Route 102 to help with traffic control. It would become the only traffic light in that area of the highway, where three intersections in a half-mile stretch offer easy access to bridges that cross French Creek.

A new signal is an aspect of the bridge’s construction that has some people wondering if traffic lights should be put at the other two intersections — Mercer Street and Spring Street.

Further complicating any new traffic plans, after the bridge is built, is that at least one turning opportunity onto Mead Avenue would be lost.

Motorists planning to enter Meadville from Vernon by crossing the new Mead Avenue Bridge will only be able to access from one way — from the northbound lane of Route 102 coming out of Kerrtown. There will be no left turn allowed for vehicles traveling south — coming from the area of Vernon Volunteer Fire Hall.

So, drivers wanting to turn left and cross French Creek would have to do so at Spring Street or Mercer Street along the same stretch of highway.

A new traffic signal is part of the engineering plan for the replacement bridge to be built near the site of the current structure, which will be “higher and wider” than the present bridge, officials said recently.

The Mead Avenue Bridge was closed on March 23, 2007, because of safety concerns.

Although Vernon Township supervisors have no authority regarding the bridge work, those officials had to either approve the state’s choice for the traffic signal, or be held responsible for the purchase of a different signal. Either way, once the signal is installed, Vernon Township will be responsible for maintaining it, according to township Manager David Stone at a recent meeting.

Stone said if supervisors didn’t approve the state’s traffic light, cost for another new traffic light would be between $100,000 and $150,000. The new state-financed signal provided by the state will include signage that traffic on Route 102 traveling south will not be allowed to turn left onto the bridge.

At their recent monthly meeting, supervisors agreed to let the state foot the bill.

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