No up or down on traffic light

This new crossover turn lane on state Highway 19 recently got some directions painted on the roadway next to the site where a new elementary school is being constructed on the west side of Pauls Valley. (PV Democrat photo)

So far it's not a yes or a no when it comes to a decision on what traffic changes are coming to a well traveled highway next to a new school being built in Pauls Valley.

With the construction of a new elementary school there's still a lot of local folks wondering if those changes will include a traffic light or a turn lane only.

That's a big question because the site of the new school on the west side of PV is right next to state Highway 19, also know as Grant Avenue leading into town and the other direction toward Interstate 35.

One representative of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) also doesn't have the answer to what changes are coming.

“We're still waiting for the final results on the actual study for the location of the new school,” said Cody Boyd of ODOT's Media and Public Relations Division.

“As far as a traffic signal, it needs a more in-depth study.

“A full traffic signal light requires us to seek a partnership with typically a city entity to provide power to that signal light. It's just another layer in what needs to be considered.”

Boyd is referring to a traffic study required by ODOT before any changes can be made because the roadway is a state highway.

One thing that has been approved is a median crossover left turn lane at the school site, which recently was constructed with crews laying down roadway paint just last week.

Boyd does say it's fairly routine for ODOT to come in and install flashing lights and new traffic signs for reduced speeds in a new school zone.

“With a school zone, even if it doesn't warrant a traffic light, we will go in with flashing warning lights and signs showing a change in the speed limit,” he said.

For some time PV school officials have expressed a desire for a traffic light to be used to provide motorists with safe access to the new school site.

“I would prefer a stop light but it's not my decision,” PV Superintendent Mike Martin recently said.

A decision on the traffic changes could come next month as the construction of a new school housing PV students prekindergarten through the third grade continues moving closer to completion.

Martin has said the hope is to have the school ready to open sometime this school year, which could come early in 2021.

The new school isn’t the only project included in a 2018 bond issue providing the funding.

The construction of a new agriculture education classroom has not only been completed but is now in use at the PV High School campus.

Towering high is a new band building as interior work to the structure is ongoing, while most of the renovations to the PVHS gym have been completed, including air conditioning for the first time ever, upgraded restrooms and new ceiling tiles.

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