Wrapping up two weeks ahead of schedule, the redesign project at the intersection at First and Willis avenues in downtown Perry will come into full service next week, Perry City Administrator Sven Peterson told the Perry City Council at its regular meeting Monday night.
“They’re hoping to have all the vertical poles up tonight,” Peterson said, “and will hopefully get everything wired up and horizontal arms put up this week. We’ll put it to a four-way stop with flashers over the weekend and then turn them all on Monday morning.”
The new traffic signals will include countdown lights for pedestrians and left-turn arrows for motorists, features intended to further improve safety at the intersection, he said.
“We will be sending out some PSAs about the new flashing yellow light,” Peterson said. “If you’ve been around the metro, quite a few of those new stoplights have the flashing left turn arrow. That’s basically a yield to turn left. Just kind of be aware of that. We’ll be sending out information updating everybody on that.”
The $380,000 project was completely paid for with state-administered U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) dollars. First Avenue has been converted from four to three lanes between Otley Avenue and Bateman Street, with two opposing traffic lanes separated by a center turning lane.
The city expects ultimately to make First Avenue a three-lane street between Iowa Highway 141 and the northern boundary of the city.
The redesign of the First-and-Willis intersection also included storm sewer improvements and new curbs for safer turns by westbound semi-tractor trailers.
The project contractor, Voltmer Electric from Decorah, originally agreed to finish by June 3 but gained time in April thanks to fair weather.
The project was paid for with funds from the Traffic Safety Improvement Program (TSIP). The larger, long-term project for the full length of First Avenue will probably draw funding from the Iowa DOT’s Urban-State Traffic Engineering Program (U-STEP) and Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), according to the city’s engineer consultant Matt Ferrier.