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Signaling change
New light watches over busy crossing
shady grove work 1
Sam Smallwood steadies the street sign from the crossing at Browns Bridge and Shady Grove roads, where the DOT has put up a traffic signal. Jose Aguilar climbs down from the skid loader behind him. - photo by Jim Dean
More changes are in store for Hwy. 369 in northeastern Forsyth County this week as the new Shady Grove Road intersection makes its debut.

“It’s completely different than how it was when you went through this intersection [Monday] morning,” said Terri Pope, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation. “Our best advice is to slow down and pay extra attention.”

Shady Grove, which used to join the state highway at a 45-degree tilt, now comes in at a 90-degree angle. Officials say the change improves sight distance, allowing motorists to better see oncoming traffic.

Along with the road improvements, a new traffic signal was put into test mode Monday. It will become fully operational sometime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursday.

While the department encourages safety, Pope said there are usually at least five rear-end crashes during the first year a new signal is in place.

“Somebody stops at the signal that’s new and the person behind them didn’t notice they were stopping, didn’t remember a signal was there, so they rear end somebody,” said Pope. “It’s the ‘didn’t used to be there syndrome,’ so please slow down and pay attention to this and any new signal you see.

“Our best advice is to slow down and pay extra attention.”

The speed limit around the intersection will remain lower than normal due to construction elsewhere along the corridor.

The roadwork is part of a $4.04 million construction project that will improve six intersections on Hwy. 369 by Sept. 30.

Work at Hendrix Road and Hwy. 369 has closed the Hendrix side of the highway for 30 days while DOT crews lower the grade to improve sight distance.

The detour is Hwy. 369 to John Burruss Road to Hendrix.

Other intersections to be improved include Doc Bramblett and Waldrip roads, as well as one side of Bethel Road and one side of Jot Em Down Road.

In June, Holtzclaw Road received a traffic signal. Other crossings scheduled to receive new lights are Bethel, Doc Bramblett and Jot Em Down.

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.