Problems keep Panola traffic light dark
9/6/2013, 6:03 a.m.
LITHONIA The new traffic signal at the Centre at Panola shopping plaza and Panola Road will continue to remain dark until a number of technical and construction glitches are fixed.
DeKalb County spokesman Burke Brennan said on Sept. 4 that the signal that was installed on July 27 is not compatible with the county’s system.
“Our inspectors say the wiring does not meet minimum specifications,” Brennan said. “It’s not tied into the other lights along Panola. So while the other lights are timed, the new signal would not be synchronized with them as it is wired right now.”
Depending on the time of day, Brennan said an unsynchronized light might cause even more traffic problems on Panola Road.
The shopping center owners, Kite Realty, and Publix, which anchors the center, paid for the traffic lights, installed at a cost of $112,000 as a service to customers and a safety enhancement for the neighborhood.
Publix spokeswoman Brenda Reid said customers and restaurant patrons had complained for years that it was dangerous exiting the shopping plaza onto busy Panola.
The signals remain wrapped in black plastic waiting to be activated.
Reid said on Sept. 5 that inspection glitches are “not out of the norm” on major infrastructure improvements and that the Publix real estate department, which hired the contractor who installed the signal, is working with county engineers to get technical issues resolved as quickly as possible.
“We want to make sure that all the county’s concerns are addressed thoroughly so that this one problem doesn’t lead to more,” Reid said.
Brennan said the wiring system is not the county’s only concern but it is the biggest issue.
“The light posts need to be moved farther back from traffic, but that’s an issue that can be solved quickly,” he said.
Reid said the developers also have to install new sidewalks and stripe a new crosswalk, but they hope to have get county approval to activate the light soon.
“This is not going to take another month or two months to resolve,” she said.