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New signal going up

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Meadowcrest light to be operational by May 8

By Mike Wright

CRYSTAL RIVER — The much-anticipated traffic signal on State Road 44 at Meadowcrest Boulevard should be up and operating by May 8.

Workers this week are installing steel casings that will hold the concrete poles to support wires and cables attached to the signal and street signs, said Walt Eastmond, engineering project manager for Citrus County government.

The steel casings are necessary because test borings showed the potential for unstable soil, Eastmond said. Normally they would simply drill a hole and install concrete poles directly into the ground.

Other work includes installing video detection equipment which will aid officials in adjusting timing for the signal changes.

Eastmond said the video equipment — similar to a motion detector — is being installed with new signals instead of underground signal “loops” which trigger a change in the signal by the weight of a vehicle’s front tires.

He said loops are no longer desirable because they can break and must be disabled during road construction.

The project’s budget is $271,845. That total includes $40,000 in contingency that may not be necessary, Eastmond said.

Contact Chronicle reporter Mike Wright at 352-563-3228 or mwright@chronicleonline.com.