The Elkhorn Public School District paid for the traffic signals near Elkhorn South High School several years ago, but state engineers would not turn them on. The project has finally been given the green light.
Teachers leaving orientation at Elkhorn South on Thursday learned they have new colors to root for this school year, green, yellow and red. “We're excited, time for these lights, it’s time for these light to be turned on.”
The Nebraska Department of Roads activated the traffic signals on busy Highway 31 and the street leading from the high school. The stop signs up for three or four years are coming down, replaced by lights that will be fully functioning the first day of school next Tuesday.
For years, traffic studies found vehicle counts were too low to meet federal guidelines, but a recent count hit the mark so now students, parents and staff have traffic signals they believe will make the school drive safer. “We're so excited our students can be safe,” said a teacher.
Drivers with no connection to Elkhorn South will have to learn patience. “If they just miss their green band they could be in for a wait,” said Bob Simard with the Nebraska Department of Roads. “It’ll be less than 90 seconds, but…”
Young drivers going to school have a turn arrow and everyone approaching the lights are warned to slow for a stop. “Traffic travels pretty fast out here so with all the kids at the high school it’s good to see,” said a mother.