SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Constant stopping and starting for drivers on N. Norton Ave. will come to an end next week.

Sylacauga Police Chief Kelley Johnson confirmed to SylacaugaNews.com that the traffic lights on W. 1st St. and W. 2nd St. will be taken down, allowing for free flowing traffic from W. Fort Williams to W. 3rd St.

The lights currently in use are from the 1960s Johnson said and desperately need to be replaced or removed.

“The lights we have now are so old, never work properly, and cost so much to maintain,” Johnson said. “Downtown has changed since the lights on Norton were installed. It’s not the same shopping district it used to be on Norton.”

Johnson explained replacing a light and its entire system would cost at least $60,000, if not upwards of $70,000 per light.

Johnson said  those traveling on W. 1st St. and W. 2nd St. will now adhere to stop signs creating two way stops at the intersections.

Changes will also be made to the other lights on N. Norton Ave. Johnson said the light on W. 3rd St. is currently on a timer, causing drivers to stop on N. Norton when no vehicles are at the intersection and impending the flow of traffic. This light on N. Norton will now be moved to a loop system, meaning they will not change until a vehicle approaches an intersecting street.

“Right now you have to sit at lights when there is no traffic there,” Johnson said. “We’ll probably get approval to change that in the future.”

Because lights are so expensive, Johnson said the city will save the lights it is removing for spare parts to fix existing lights.

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