More stops along U.S. 280: Chelsea adds traffic lights at Hwys. 41, 43

Motorists will soon have to put on their brakes a few more times as they travel down U.S. 280 near Chelsea.

The Alabama Department of Transportation is working on installing traffic lights where U.S. 280 intersects with Highway 41 and Highway 43.

&8220;There have been, over the last couple of years, problems with people who live in Mt Laurel and those coming from the elementary school trying to make an entrance onto 280,&8221; Chelsea councilman Mike Denton said. &8220;You are at the mercy of traffic.&8221;

Gary Ray, engineer with the Alabama Department of Transportation, said the lights are being put in place because of increases in traffic and the number of accidents.

Ray said the approach lanes on 41 and 43 are also being improved, which he hopes will help alleviate the congestion.

The state is also reconfiguring the turning lanes on 280 to allow for a better view of traffic.

&8220;Users of roads turning onto 280 need to be very, very cautious when lights go green, before they pull out,&8221; Ray said. &8220;If you are on side streets you have to be a defensive driver. Other drivers need to also remember what a yellow light means &045;&045; it means to slow down and be prepared to stop.&8221;

Denton said he hopes the lights will reduce accidents, but he is also a little concerned because both of the lights will be at the bottoms of hills.

&8220;People will be zipping down the hills and possibly running the red lights,&8221; Denton said. &8220;I&8217;m afraid some people will have a hard time stopping but hopefully the lights are designed to make those intersections safer. It will definitely be easier for many people, I just hope it will be safer as well.&8221;

Installation of the two lights should be completed within two to three weeks.

Prior to the lights being fully activated they will be on a flash pattern for five to seven days, to warn drivers that they will have to begin stopping at the intersections.