January 22, 2009

Price Tag Too High On Road Warning Lights

With a price tag approaching $20,000, plans for emergency signal lights at the Memphis Fire Station have been scrapped for now.

Scotland County Emergency Management Director Bryan Whitney informed the Memphis City Council that the fire department was not in favor of making such a significant investment at this time for the proposed lights at the intersection of Madison Street and Highway 15.

The fire department agreed, that money would go to better use funding the new mini-pumper fire truck that is scheduled to be in service in February, Whitney stated.

The fire department had brought the proposal to the city for installation of emergency warning signals at the intersection, which is where the fire trucks generally enter traffic when responding to a call. Northbound traffic on Highway 15 crests a hill south of the intersection and thus has limited visibility heading into the emergency vehicle entrance.

However after having the site reviewed by the Missouri Department of Transportation and learning of the requirements for such a system to be placed on a state highway, the department agreed that the proposal was likely cost prohibitive.

MoDOT maintains street signs indicating the emergency vehicle entrances on Highway 15 at Madison Street for the fire department and at Sigler Street for the ambulance service.

Currently fire trucks have to yield at the intersection to oncoming traffic, unless law enforcement officers or volunteers from the adjoining business are present to direct traffic.

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