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Flashing stop lights to be fixed by June 1

Published: Friday, April 11, 2014 11:33 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, April 11, 2014 11:35 a.m. CDT

The Public Works Department has set the completion date of fixing the flashing traffic lights at the intersection of First Avenue East and Eighth Street North for June 1.

“We have just sent the project out for bid,” Public Works Operations Superintendent Jody Rhone said. “[The accident on March 31] caused 7,600 volts of electricity to burn up all the wiring, lights, controllers and cabinet for the lights at the intersection. A contractor has set up a temproary wiring system to make sure we didn’t have just a stop sign out there.”

The accident happened at 1:37 a.m. Monday, March 31. At that time, Newton Police were notified that a vehicle had struck a pole in the 700 block of First Avenue East. The vehicle was westbound on First Avenue when it struck the pole on the south side of the road.

Newton Police Officer Randy Oldfield was able to find the vehicle, which had left the scene of the crash, and performed a traffic stop in the 200 block of East Second Street North. Oldfield cited the driver, Harold Peter Mahoney, 63, of Newton, for driving while license suspended, leaving the scene of an accident, striking a fixture and failure to maintain control.

Damage to the utility pole was approximately $3,000, and the damage to the vehicle was approximately $3,500. Public Works Director Keith Laube did not have an estimated cost to replace the controller cabinet hardware; he said the cost would be covered through the Traffic Control budget.