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City, County traffic engineers preparing for East Ridge High School

With a new high school set to open on the south side of town this fall, city and county traffic engineers have been busy the last several months studying the impacts the East Ridge High School will have on several high-volume thoroughfares.

The city and county are currently working on a joint venture to install a traffic light at the intersection of Pioneer Drive and Bailey Road. Construction of the traffic light is expected to begin later this month and the newly signaled intersection will be in operation before July, city officials said.

The county is also beginning planning for future expansions of Bailey Road (County Road 18), which is currently two lanes, but could be expanded to four in the future if traffic volumes are heavy enough, said Washington County engineer Joe Gustafson.

Although the improvements are in the county's five-year capital improvement plan, those projects are more than a few years off as the county is still seeking to obtain matching federal funding to add two more lanes to Bailey Road and to complete any future expansion of Radio Drive (CR-13) south of Bailey Road, Gustafson said.

The stop sign and Woodbury Drive (CR-19) and Bailey Road could also see an upgrade to a traffic signaled intersection if necessary, Gustafson added.

"Based on our studies, we feel at this time a traffic signal will not be needed," Gustafson said. "But if the congestion winds up being worse than expected we can always put up some temporary signals at that intersection."