The city is on the verge of receiving its first-ever traffic signal, but city officials are more excited about it as a safety improvement than as a coming-of-age milestone.
City Manager Mike Moyes said the Utah Department of Transportation will have a working traffic signal at the intersection of 1700 South (Syracuse Road/West Antelope Drive) and 1000 West within the next month.Moyes said some people may see the new traffic signal as a coming-of-age rite for the city of 6,000 - especially since neighboring West Point and Clinton don't have traffic signals. However, he sees it as a big improvement in safety and health for Syracuse.
Once activated later this summer, the signal will flash yellow for about a week so residents will become aware of its presence. Then it will be be put into full use.
"I think the people that use 1000 West to get on 1700 South will see a great benefit," Moyes said of the new signal. "Sometimes it's almost impossible for them to get on 1700 South."
Moyes said the busy intersection was put on UDOT's priority list about five years ago, and it has taken longer than expected to actually get the signal.
He said related improvements have added turning lanes on both 1000 West and 1700 South and have also covered up a pesky open ditch along the roadside.
Moyes said some large vehicles turning north onto 1000 West have dumped their loads of lumber or slid into the ditch in recent years. A UTA bus also went into the ditch because of the tight turn.
The intersection has become even more busy in recent years because of the reopening of the Antelope Island causeway. The Syracuse Road is the only access to the causeway. Moyes said almost 70,000 vehicles visited the island in 1994 and all of them used the Syracuse Road.
Reduced school busing has also prompted Syracuse city to apply for a grant to install a sidewalk on 1700 South between 2000 and 3000 West.