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Traffic Light Repair Job Could Slow Traffic on North Atherton Street

by on July 30, 2014 5:45 AM

A damaged traffic light may slow down down motorists on a busy State College Road Wednesday morning.

The Patton Township Public Works Department will be replacing a traffic control box at the intersection of North Atherton Street and Colonnade Boulevard.

Work is scheduled between 9 a.m. and noon on Wednesday. During that time, the light will not be operational and flagmen will be directing traffic according to Kim Wyatt, Patton Township's finance director.

"The lights won't be working so it's best to avoid that intersection," Wyatt says.

Motorists traveling south on North Atherton will not be allowed to turn left on Colonnade Boulevard which leads to the Wegmans and Target stores. You'll have to use Colonnade Way (one block farther south) to access those businesses.

The control box was severely damaged about two weeks ago in a two-vehicle crash. Wyatt says the instrument is working but a contractor who examined the box does not believe the electronic components will last much longer.

Wyatt says the driver who police believe caused the accident, Daniel Laplante of State College, has insurance that will pay to replace the traffic control box.

On July 13, police say Laplante was attempting to make a left turn from North Atherton Street when he reportedly pulled into the path of a car driven by Mi Kyeong Park of Port Matilda.

Police say Park's vehicle went off the east side of the roadway and hit the traffic light control box, causing loss of power to the traffic light system.

Both drivers suffered non-life threatening injuries. The pair was transported to Mounty Nittany Medical Center by Centre Life Link.

After the crash, authorities had to direct traffic at the intersection for several hours while the Patton Township Public Works Department temporarily repaired the signal control box.

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Jessica Tully recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in journalism and political science. She is a frequent contributor to and has also reported for USA TODAY, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Onward State and The Daily Collegian.
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