City to move traffic light away from road

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 16, 2008

NATCHEZ — The truck equipped with a drill bit parked outside the Natchez Convention Center wasn’t on display for the center’s next convention.

The truck is the first step in the moving of the traffic light pole at the corner of Canal Street and Main Street.

City Engineer David Gardner said the pole will be moved two to three feet away from its current location.

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“(The pole) keeps getting hit, and we have a lot of incidents where trucks, particularly ones with large trailers, will swing out to turn onto Canal Street,” Gardner said. “It is basically to give us more of a buffer with traffic.”

Insurance money from one such accident is being used to pay for most of the expenses associated with the move.

Just how far back the pole will be moved has yet to be determined.

“We are going to try to pinpoint a spot out in the field because of all the underground utilities in the vicinity,” Gardner said.

Once an appropriate spot has been located, the process of moving the pole will be relatively quick, with work likely completed before the weekend.

“Once you excavate a hole and pour the footings for the pole, you have to set your anchor bolts and those have to be precise,” Gardner said. “Then you just set your pole in.”

This is the second pole that has been moved further from the street. A pole at the corner of Main Street and Union Street was also relocated.

Convention Center Director Walter Tipton said he is happy to see the work happening outside his facility.

“They are just being preemptive,” Tipton said. “They feel like they need to move it back to prevent something from happening.”

Gardner said the work should not have any major impact on traffic flow in the area.

“Any disturbance will be minor,” he said. “There may be just a moment when they are swapping over that we won’t have power to the light, but that shouldn’t be a problem.”

Tipton said a momentary disruption in power is better than what would take place if the light had to be replaced because of damage.

“There is a lot of network circuitry in that post, which takes about 18 months to replace if gets damaged,” Tipton said. “We can’t do without that traffic signal for 18 months.”