Temporary traffic signal to be installed at Kathleen Ave. & US-95

Temporary traffic signal to be installed at Kathleen Ave. & US-95

Traffic is moving a bit differently at the intersection of Kathleen Avenue and Highway 95 in Coeur d’Alene. The intersection has been jammed up since Sunday, when a driver hit one of the traffic light poles.

The traffic light was so damaged the Idaho Transportation Department had to remove it. Cars on Kathleen Avenue are not able to cross Highway 95. Drivers are also not able to make left turns.

Initially, ITD said it would take several months to replace that light, leaving drivers without a signal until then. However, according to ITD, drivers might not have to put up with it for much longer.

KXLY4 spoke with ITD Monday afternoon. Engineers came up with a solution that will make it easier on drivers and help cut down on congestion.

A temporary signal will be installed by the end of the week.

Some drivers were clearly confused at the intersection. Some people stopping at the line, some just driving right through. There were also some turnarounds on Kathleen Avenue, because they realized they can’t cross Highway 95.

“This is a big deal that we were able to find a solution where we could get it in place by the end of the week, as opposed to months or weeks without a signal,” said Megan Sausser, public information specialist for ITD.

A permanent signal is coming. But that won’t be for a few months.

“In the meantime, drivers are just going to see a signal – sort of a signal head attached to a wire. It’s going to look like a temporary signal. But we will have that in place so people can continue accessing highway 95 like they normally would,” Sausser said.

While crews work to put up the temporary light ITD said drivers can expect lane closures, so be prepared for detours and delays.

“This is a fluid situation. So while you’re out there driving, just pay attention to what’s in front of you and we’ll be fine,” Sausser said.

Some people might be asking why does it take a few months to put up a new light. According to ITD, it’s all about timing. Big traffic structures take a while to make, and they don’t exactly keep them readily available. For now, the signal is scheduled to be installed along with the Highway 95 improvements project at the end of the summer.

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