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New traffic light debuts
Majors signal part of overhaul along Hwy. 141
141 work 2 jd
Sam Thames prepares a machine used to place permanent plastic striping on roads. - photo by Jim Dean
A new traffic signal became operational Tuesday on Hwy. 141 at Majors Road.

The light is the latest addition to the Hwy. 141 widening project, which the state Department of Transportation says is 88 percent complete.

Brent Cook, traffic engineer with the DOT, encouraged motorists to “slow down through the area and use extra caution until you get familiar with the new signal location.”

“Typically, five rear-end crashes occur in the first year after a signal is installed because it is new and people aren’t expecting to have to stop,” Cook said.

To the south of Majors on Hwy. 141, crews are finishing the base of the new southbound lanes from Brookwood Road to Deer Lake/Granite Lane.

Once complete, overnight paving work is slated to start, with traffic being shifted to the new southbound lanes while the old lanes are rebuilt.

“We’ll upgrade the original lanes of Hwy. 141, what will eventually be northbound lanes,” said Teri Pope, a DOT spokeswoman. “It’s not just resurfacing, it’s reconstruction and lowering of the roadway.

“Contractors still believe they can get all four lanes open by the end of October as they’ve been saying.”

The overall $50.7 million Hwy. 141 widening project began in 2006 and was originally targeted for completion by July 2009.

Many factors have contributed to the delay, among them foul weather, hitches relocating utility lines and issues with the road design firm.

But in recent months, the project has picked up pace and contractor C.W. Matthews is expected to meet the new Dec. 31 deadline.