HJ - Garfield and South 16th Traffic Light

The Clarinda City Council approved a plan to convert the intersection of South 16th and Garfield streets to a four-way stop Wednesday, Jan. 22. A short in the wiring of the existing stop lights has caused the traffic control device to malfunction. It would have cost the city $2,200 per day to have the company producing the traffic light to troubleshoot the problem and locate the short. (Herald-Journal file photo)

With the traffic light at the intersection of South 16th and Garfield streets in Clarinda on the blink, motorists are being reminded a flashing red light should be treated the same as a stop sign.

Although Public Works Director Adam Brown has worked to repair the traffic light, Clarinda City Manager Gary McClarnon informed the city council Wednesday, Jan. 8, that more expensive options may need to be considered to restore the light to full working order.

"We have done all the troubleshooting we can do as a city. Adam has worked on it hard and he has been in contact with the company. They think there's a short in it, but they're not positive. It could be the controller again," McClarnon said.

McClarnon said the controller for the traffic light was last replaced approximately three years ago. That is why the company believes it could be a short in the wiring.

However, it would cost the city $2,200 per day for the company to come to Clarinda to troubleshoot the traffic light and determine the problem.

Therefore, McClarnon said he would like the council to decide at its next meeting, Jan. 22, how much more money it wants to invest in the light.

"You have a lot of wires up in there to try to track for a short. So, it may take them five days. Do you really want to spend $10,000 on it? Maybe you do want them to come down and spend $2,200 to see what it is? Hopefully they can find it in a day. I'll leave that up to you to decide at the next meeting," McClarnon said.

If the council decides not to repair the light, McClarnon said the city could continue to use the flashing red light or other devices to stop traffic in all four directions at the intersection.

"I have had all positive comments about leaving it the way it is or putting stop signs up," McClarnon said.

Council member Matt Ridge said it would also be helpful to mark crosswalks at that intersection. McClarnon said there was already a plan being developed to address that issue.

"As part of the Healthy Hometown Iowa Wellmark initiative that we're doing, one of the recommendations is going to be that we put crosswalks out here. They're also going to recommend putting up stop signs and also fix the corners so they're handicap accessible," McClarnon said.

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