Stoplight at Highways 98 and 49 intersection delayed

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 2/18/21

MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - The stoplight planned at the intersection of Highway 98 and Highway 49 may be delayed. The stoplight is a joint project between Magnolia Springs and ALDOT, and is meant to help …

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Stoplight at Highways 98 and 49 intersection delayed

Posted

MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - The stoplight planned at the intersection of Highway 98 and Highway 49 may be delayed. The stoplight is a joint project between Magnolia Springs and ALDOT, and is meant to help traffic flow in the area. The light would cost approximately $170,000 which was meant to be split 50/50 between Magnolia Springs and ALDOT. However, plans may change after Magnolia Springs did not receive an ATRIP grant applied for to help with the cost of the traffic light project.

“I’m really disappointed in that,” said Mayor Kim Koniar. “Now, that doesn’t change the fact that we still need the stoplight. What it changes is our discussions with ALDOT.”

Koniar said two options to consider would be if the town were able to pay for one-third of the project with ALDOT paying for two-thirds, or waiting for 12 months when the town will be eligible to once more try for the ATRIP grant. Most of the council voiced their desire to table the stoplight for now. The decision of the council is due to damages suffered during Hurricane Sally, presenting unexpected costs to the town. Currently, the council is unsure how much they will be reimbursed by FEMA, making them hesitant to agree to one-third of the project cost.

“In my opinion, I think we ought to wait on the stoplight discussion,” said councilmember Steve Mobley. “We need the light, we need the light bad, but we’ve got to figure out where the money is coming from.”

Plans for the stoplight were created last year after town officials worked with ALDOT representatives to conduct a traffic count at the intersection. More than 150 vehicles per hour were counted going through the stop sign, with some hours seeing 300 plus vehicles. During high traffic times, vehicles saw over ten minutes in wait time before they were able to turn. These results justified the installation of a traffic light at the location.

Koniar said there may be other grant opportunities available that would help pay for the project. She would like to explore other options to pay for the stoplight to be constructed. If no other options are found, the town plans to reapply for the ATRIP grant later this year.

For more information on Magnolia Springs, visit www.townofmagnoliasprings.org.