By JOHN HOWELL Repairs have been made to the traffic light at the intersection of Main and Buttonwoods Avenues - the site of three accidents in less than a month that sent four people to the hospital. But that isn't the end of this story. On Tuesday
Repairs have been made to the traffic light at the intersection of Main and Buttonwoods Avenues – the site of three accidents in less than a month that sent four people to the hospital. But that isn’t the end of this story.
On Tuesday Major Joseph J. Solomon reaffirmed his position that while the state says the light is the city’s responsibility, he expects the city to be reimbursed.
“We will effectuate the repairs…And when that is completed, and the bill comes in. I will pay a bill. But I'm looking for the state to reimburse the city taxpayers,” he said.
A visit to the site Tuesday found an independent contractor and crew of three working on the light while a police detail directed traffic.
The light was placed on a flashing mode – yellow or caution for traffic on Main Avenue and red to stop for the intersecting streets of Inman and Buttonwoods – in early June. According to area residents the yellow light fails to slow traffic on the 4-lane Main Avenue with some vehicle breezing through the intersection at speeds of more than 50 miles an hour. Accidents have involved situations where motorists attempting to enter Main Avenue traffic have been hit.
Soon after the light became inoperable, the state was contacted. The Department of Transportation concluded Warwick is responsible for the light. In response, the city emailed the DOT that it had not budgeted for traffic signal repairs.
A spokeswoman for the DOT said yesterday that the city requested permission of the state traffic commission to install the light in 1963 and that request was approved on Feb. 27, 1963 on condition that the city pay for it and its maintenance.
“It’s theirs,” said Lisbeth Pettengill of the DOT.
Last week Solomon said the city was waiting for parts to arrive and repairs could take a week or more. He questioned at the time why the state couldn’t make the repairs and bill the city. As it turned out, however, the light was repaired in a day.
GETTING IT TO WORK AGAIN: A 3-man crew had the Main Avenue and Buttonwoods Avenue up an running again Tuesday after replacing the control box that one of the workmen said was older than he is. He looked to be in his mid-30s. (Warwick Beacon photo)