Other crossings also to receive makeovers
In addition to the new red light at Holtzclaw Road, several other intersections along well-traveled Hwy. 369 in northern Forsyth County are slated for improvements.
According to reports from the state Department of Transportation, the other intersection upgrades should be finished by late September.
The projects are estimated to cost $4.04 million.
Other Hwy. 369 intersections to be improved include Doc Bramblett, Hendrix, Shady Grove and Waldrip roads, as well as one side of Bethel Road and one side of Jot-Em-Down Road.
Intersections scheduled to receive new traffic lights are Bethel, Doc Bramblett, Jot-Em-Down and Shady Grove.
At each intersection, turn lanes will be built, signals will be installed where needed and side streets will be realigned to meet the highway at 90-degree angles, improving sight distance.
Funding for the projects comes from the DOT and Forsyth County 1-cent sales tax money.
The state Department of Transportation has announced the light, at Hwy. 369 and Holtzclaw Road, should be operational by mid-morning Tuesday, weather permitting.
“Praise God!” said Dorothy Cagle, parish administrator at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Holtzclaw.
Cagle said it was nearly impossible to turn left from Holtzclaw onto Hwy. 369 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the school year.
“Without the traffic light you cannot turn left,” she said. “You can’t get out and you can’t see because everybody that’s trying to turn right in the turning lane, they block your vision.”
Cagle said the problem is compounded by the fact that the speed limit increases to 55 mph about a tenth of a mile from the crossing, while the rest of the road is 45 mph.
“It’s just wonderful to have (the light),” she said. “We’re just elated.”
Cagle’s co-worker, Terry Duffey, also is excited.
“I love it because I work here and trying to get out on 369 -- forget it,” she said. “You play chicken with the cars. You can just sit there for 15 minutes sometimes just trying to get out.”
According to the DOT, the new signal is part of a $4.04 million construction project that will improve six intersections on Hwy. 369 by Sept. 30.
Among the crossings are Doc Bramblett, Hendrix and Shady Grove roads.
The DOT and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office will be monitoring Holtzclaw this week, the statement said.
Sheriff’s Capt. Frank Huggins said the intersection has become more important as the county has grown.
“Holtzclaw is a cut-through for access to Hwy. 369 when trying to avoid the Hammonds Crossing area,” he said, adding that the signal will improve traffic flow and help ensure the safety of drivers entering the highway.
“Even so, motorists should not take for granted that oncoming traffic is going to stop,” he said. “Everyone using that intersection needs to exercise additional caution because it is a new light.”
DOT District Engineer Russell McMurry asked that drivers proceed with caution until they are familiar with the new signal.
“Remember to watch out for other drivers until they get used to the new signal too,” McMurry said.
E-mail Julie Arrington at email@example.com.