The traffic light will help reduce crashes at the TV Highway intersection

Construction crews today began the process of installing a new traffic signal at Southwest Tualatin Valley Highway and 178th Avenue, an intersection known for a high number of crashes and pedestrian injuries.

The Oregon Department of Transportation contractor began putting signs in place last week for the project. Completion is expected by late December.

There will be minimal traffic disruptions during construction with occasional nighttime and daytime lane closures for installation of the poles and signals and for paving. The highway will remain open at all times.

"Installing a full traffic signal should help make the intersection more safe," said Don Hamilton, ODOT spokesman. "In recent years, the site has seen pedestrians struck and vehicles rear-ended.

"Bus stops and a convenience store contribute to steady foot traffic crossing the highway."

ODOT recently installed a rapid flash beacon adjacent to the highway lanes in an effort to alert drivers when pedestrians are ready to cross. The beacon helped reduce crashes but the new signal should further increase safety, Hamilton said. Once this project is complete, the beacon will be moved for use on another state highway.

The new signal will operate in concert with other traffic signals along Tualatin Valley Highway. It will also be activated by pedestrians and by vehicles approaching the highway from Southwest 178th Avenue. Other project elements include marking a second crosswalk on the east side of the interchange and new sidewalk ADA ramps.

The signal is the result of planning by ODOT, the Washington County Sheriff's Office, TriMet and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, which responds to crashes at the intersection.

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