Long time coming: Traffic lights finally installed at Hwy. 69 and Wesley Ave. in Fairview

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The long-awaited new traffic lights at the intersection of Alabama Highway 69 and Wesley Avenue in Fairview were installed by an Alabama Department of Transportation crew last week. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

FAIRVIEW, Ala. – The long-awaited traffic lights at Alabama Highway 69 and Wesley Avenue in Fairview were finally installed late last week. The lights will flash for about two weeks so drivers can become accustomed to them, then they will function as normal traffic lights.

At the Fairview Town Council’s May meeting, Mayor Keith Henry said the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) would begin installation of the lights the following week.

“They are up and flashing,” Henry said Monday. “They will flash for about two weeks then will be turned to normal operation.”

Rep. Randall Shedd, R-Fairview and Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman announced last August that the lights would be installed.

“I’m very appreciative to Senator Garlan Gudger for working with me to get this project approved and funded,” said Shedd at the time. “I thank Governor Ivey and ALDOT Director John Cooper and his staff. I’m especially thankful for the people of east Cullman County for signing petitions multiple times over the years. More than 1,000 people signed petitions asking for it. I appreciate Mayor Henry and Fairview Town Council’s work on it and the owners of The Hutch Restaurant for donating right-of-way. As you can see, it took a lot of people working together to accomplish this successful project.”

During the wait for installation, there was a noted delay, with right-of-way issues at The Hutch Restaurant. Back in August, Gudger and Shedd said ALDOT was working to acquire additional right-of-way for the project. The configuration of the intersection was difficult, requiring at least $188,000, paid for from new revenue from Ivey’s Rebuild Alabama Program.

Back in August, Shedd said of the intersection’s history: “I have been working on this project for more than 20 years. The traffic coming from Holly Pond approaching Highway 69 is really in the most danger the way the intersection is configured.”

Back in August of 2018, a petition for the lights was circulated in the community. It had 2,727 signatures.

Shedd said last week, “I urge everyone to be careful when it becomes operational. Any intersection with any system has potential for accidents. I will be asking ALEA (Alabama Law Enforcement Agency) to provide State Troopers to slow traffic when it becomes operational. I will ask them to issue warning tickets instead of fines in the beginning, but they don’t have to follow my directions on that, so hopefully everyone will slow down and not risk a ticket.”

The Town of Fairview is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the lights.

Other Fairview Town Council news

Town Clerk Debbie Shedd said the Town purchased a new Kubota lawnmower for $14,300.

She said the Town also recently purchased (in increments) several pieces of playground equipment for the community park. Fairview maintenance employee Mickey Yancy installed most of the equipment.

Mayor Henry said, “Playground equipment is in the process of being installed. We have about 12 new pieces that are for larger children. What we have now is for smaller children.”

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Maggie Darnell

maggie@cullmantribune.com