GREENFIELD — A traffic signal near a busy shopping center should be up and running by June 1.
City officials recently hired a contractor to construct a stop light at New Road and Barrett Drive, a project they hope alleviates traffic near the Walmart shopping center.
E&B Paving Inc. of Anderson will complete the work for about $300,000.
Barrett Drive comprises a small stretch of road that runs north and south, giving drivers on New Road access to Greenfield Corner — the shopping center that houses Home Depot and the former Gander Mountain building — to the north and Walmart to the south.
Residents should be prepared for some construction delays in late winter, but most of the road work will be done during the springtime, said Greenfield city engineer Jason Koch. He expects labor on the project to start in April.
In addition to erecting a traffic signal, plans also include the installation of a center median to prevent drivers from turning left onto New Road from Melody Lane. The barrier will extend from Barrett Drive to State Road 9, Koch said. Drivers leaving the complex that houses Starbucks and Qdoba will also be restricted from turning left, or south.
The area sees as many as 14,000 vehicles a day, according to traffic counts from the Indiana Department of Transportation, and local law enforcement officers respond to about 10 accidents there a year. Many result from a driver failing to yield to an oncoming vehicle, officials say.
The project is designed to funnel traffic to a safer, more controlled intersection, Koch said.
“We feel that cleaning up some of the access to that area will result in a better flow of traffic as you exit from those big-boxed commercial areas,” Koch said.
The traffic light project, a solution to counter the traffic issues in that area, is a project the city is pleased to finally get around to finishing, Mayor Chuck Fewell said.
Drivers tend to grow impatient when exiting the retail parking lots flanking New Road and cut across traffic, endangering themselves and others, Fewell said.
“It got our attention when you see that many accidents take place,” Fewell said. “It’s always nice to fix those things and not put a value on losing somebody in a bad accident.”
Greenfield resident Dianne Osborne said she’s spoken with city officials about the hazardous intersection over the course of several months, and she is glad to see the city take action.
She travels in the area frequently and said she often sees drivers from out of state look confused when trying to navigate the intersection.
“I think it is definitely long overdue,” Osborne said. “It’s a very dangerous intersection, and I’m delighted to see that something’s being done about it.”