New flashing yellow turn signals to improve safety around Amarillo

VIDEO: New flashing yellow turn signals to improve safety around Amarillo
Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 3:56 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - TXDOT and The City of Amarillo are installing five new flashing yellow turn signals, which will help improve safety.

“TXDOT is working with us on a project to go in and renovate some existing traffic signals that we have here in our community. Last year was phase one of the project we had three locations that we worked on there. This the second phase of that project, which will add five locations,” said Donny Hooper, Director of Public Works.

The flashing yellow left turn signals will help drivers turn more easily.

“It doesn’t backup traffic at that intersection just gives you a red light instead of a green arrow and gives you the flash to indicate that you can go if it’s clear to go on a left turn on that flashing yellow,” said Hooper. “You’re able to kind of move at your own risk there and proceed with caution as you go to make your left turn but a lot of times you’re able to do that, instead of just sitting at a red light at that intersection, you’ll be able to go ahead and proceed and turn left.”

These new turn signals will be installed at Mirror and NE 24th, McMasters and 3rd, Georgia and 15th, Georgia and 34th, and Bell and Fulton.

“There’s a lot of locations that we’ve identified along with TxDOT where we’re adding those and that’s what TxDOT has agreed to. So in this phase of it, these are just the five that have come up out of the total list and a five year program. Should we be funded for all five of those years there’ll be other locations as well,’ said Hooper.

The estimated half a million dollar project will only cost the city $50,000 due to funding from the Highway Safety Improvement Program grant.

“This project is going to be about $500,000 worth of work. But it’s only going to cost the city of Amarillo about $20,000 in cash because we have $30,000 worth of labor that we’re putting toward the design of those intersections. So really for 50,000, including labor and cash to get a half a million dollar project done through that cooperative agreement with TXDOT and the Highway Safety Improvement Program. We’re pretty excited about those changes,” said Hooper.

The city has three flashing yellow turn signals, which were approved last year.

“Texas is working with us on that grant so that we can rehabilitate some of our traffic signals that are in our community. We’re in phase two of the project this year. Last year, we had three intersections that we worked on this year, there’s five more intersections that were rehabilitating, if you will, where they’re going to make improvements to the wiring, make improvements to the control panels, and also add a flashing turn signal on there too for the left turn indicator. So there’s a lot of improvements. Even the detection monitoring is going to a radar detection instead of the loop detector monitoring that’s in the ground,” said Hooper.

This is phase two of five, phase one added three flashing turn signals, the city says they plan to add more flashing yellow turn signals throughout the city over the next five years.

TXDOT says it worked with the city to find intersections where safety improvements would benefit motorists and pedestrians.

  • Adding flashing yellow arrows to the left turn signals to help draw attention to motorists when making an unprotected left turn
  • Reflective border backplates that help draw attention to the signals.
  • Updated pedestrian push buttons that are beneficial to disabled pedestrians.
  • Updated vehicle detection systems to help the intersection run more efficient.

This is part of our off-system highway safety improvement program to help #endthestreaktx.

The project will not let until July of this year.

Exact construction costs and timeline is to be determined.

“The first thing that we have to do is we have to go out for bid to get the the actual cost and who’s going to do the work for us. And so once we get that in and TxDOT gets that bid and then when we start working that project I would expect to see probably begin work on that sometime by the end of the summer. Right now. We’re actually just now beginning work of phase one of that project and the three intersections that were chosen in the first phase of this, should this continue on and we’d be funded for another year the project will be even bigger the next year in year four and then the largest of those years would be here five,” said Hooper.

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