The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has plans to upgrade some traffic signals in the Texarkana area in 2017.

Three intersections in Texarkana and Wake Village will have improvements made to their traffic control systems and street lighting during the coming year, according to plans approved in December by TxDOT.

“All the signal lights will be upgraded to add a new feature that local motorists may have not seen before—a flashing yellow arrow light,” said Rebecca Wells, district traffic engineer for TxDOT in Atlanta. “The protected left-turn signals will have a green arrow, a flashing yellow arrow, a steady yellow arrow and a red arrow.

“A steady green arrow means motorists can safely make a left turn as oncoming traffic has a red light. A flashing yellow arrow means left turns are allowed, but turning motorists must yield to oncoming traffic which now has a green light. A steady yellow arrow means prepare to stop, and a steady red arrow, of course, means stop,” Wells said.

The flashing yellow arrow replaces the solid green ball light which meant the same thing, but sometimes confused drivers who thought they still had a protected left turn.

The flashing yellow arrow signals are the result of a nationwide study by the Federal Highway Administration that amended the federal standards for left-turn signals.

The intersections will also have street lights added or the existing ones upgraded to LED lighted systems.

Locations scheduled for improved traffic control systems include:

  • On US 67 (West 7th Street) at the loop (I-369/US 59), upgrading signal lights at frontage roads and adding street lights on US 67.
  • FM 989 (Kings Highway), upgrading signal lights and street lighting.
  • On Farm-to-Market Road 989 (Kings Highway) at  Redwater Road, upgrading signal lights at frontage roads and adding street lights on FM 989.

Texas Traffic Control Systems of Dike, Texas, was awarded the contract for these traffic control projects with a bid of $654,137.

Work on the projects should begin in March of next year and take about 13 months to complete, Wells said.