Stop signs installed on Portersville RoadSeptember 4, 2020
By ALLEN LAMAN
JASPER — A Jasper intersection has been retooled to make it safer for pedestrians.
Two new stop signs have been placed near Jasper Elementary School at the intersection of Portersville and Ackerman roads — making the junction a three-way stop. Temporary signage will remain up at the site through the holiday weekend, with permanent fixtures being installed on Tuesday.
The modifications were prompted by the addition of the pedestrian path along Portersville Road as well as the increased traffic going to the elementary school. Kids walk along that path when going to school, and City Engineer Chad Hurm said the city’s traffic and safety committee determined that it was in the best interest of public safety to make the changes.
In late August, the Jasper Board of Public Works and Safety approved installing a temporary three-way stop at the intersection to allow those children to cross the road. That measure was ultimately adopted by the Jasper Common Council in a special meeting that took place Thursday.
Pedestrian crossing signs and two signs that warn of stop signs ahead will also be installed, and markings including arrows, stop bars and pedestrian crossing lines will be imprinted on the pavement next week.
The intersection changes come as a Portersville Road widening project nears completion. That project stretches from Ackerman Road to 47th Street and was slated to wrap up before classes began at the new elementary school last month. Its completion was pushed back, however, due to weather, equipment and timing issues.
Street Superintendent Jeff Theising said the widening work — which also included storm sewer improvements and replacements as well as the construction of a 6-foot-wide asphalt walking path — should wrap up sometime next week.
“There were a lot of young children walking on that street,” Theising said of why the project was important. “And it was narrow. And we identified that as a potential hazard, and decided that this was a good project to improve the width of the road and also increase safety for pedestrians.”
Turning the intersection of Portersville and Ackerman roads into a three-way stop had been discussed previously, he said.
“Mainly because we were bringing pedestrians across that intersection,” he explained. “And putting a stop sign there makes it a lot safer.”
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