Traffic Light Repairs Cause Delays on Capital Boulevard

Posted April 17, 2007 1:03 p.m. EDT
Updated April 17, 2007 10:08 p.m. EDT

— Monday's strong winds created trouble at several intersections when traffic signals were damaged, but repairing those lights created problems of its own Tuesday.

Crews with the state Department of Transportation temporarily closed the northbound and southbound lanes of Capital Boulevard at the I-540 West off-ramp in Wake County to repair the traffic signals.

Officials said the two left-turn lanes on the I-540 off-ramp swill would be closed throughout the day to make the repairs.

Motorists who were surprised by the shutdowns Tuesday were stuck in the middle of traffic tieups.

"It's giving me several minutes to sit and relax," said driver Lisa Blair. "I should get more upset about it, but it's just not worth getting upset about."

Wind gusts hit 48 miles per hour in the Raleigh area on Monday. DOT engineers said the traffic signals should have held up, but a design flaw led to the damage.

Engineers said they are taking a different approach as they put the traffic lights back up. In the meantime,drivers who pass under the lights every day were surprised but understanding as they sat in the backup.

"It was a bad storm," said motorist Fred Perguson. "I'm just glad nobody got hurt. But as far as these guys blocking the road, I respect what they're doing."

DOT officials said traffic lights remain out of commission in many parts of the Triangle. Chapel Hill had eight traffic lights that need to be repaired. Crews were also working in Durham to make repairs.