New traffic signal signals growth in Elgin - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

New traffic signal signals growth in Elgin

ELGIN, Okla._For the first time in Elgin’s history, residents are seeing a traffic light being put up in the town.

Just recently, the light was put up at the busiest intersection in Elgin, highway 17 and US 277. Mayor Larry Thoma says one of the convenient parts of the light is it's on the highway and 80% of it was paid for by the state.

"We've grown, according to the census, 78% in the last 10 years," said Mayor Thoma. "We've opened a couple new businesses; we have a couple more ribbon cuttings this weekend. We're on the path to growth; this is just another step in that direction."

That growth, for the most part, has been a good thing for Elgin, but it has also had a few downfalls.

"If you look at the amount of businesses that have come in, the amount of school traffic, it just gets to be a log jam," explained Mayor Thoma.

Mayor Thoma says there are those who are upset with the light, saying they loved being from a small town without a traffic light. He explained that the growth they are having is necessary for Elgin.

"You either grow or you die. There are communities that are consistently dying. So what we are trying to do is make sure we have businesses that sustain our families, so you either grow or you die. It's just that simple," said Mayor Thoma.

The light doesn't represent just growth, it also will do its main goal and keep Elgin's busiest intersection safe.

“Anything you can do with infrastructure makes the quality of life that much better. It helps on the highway trying to slow things down," said Mayor Thoma. "I don't know if anybody gets excited for a traffic light. Nobody likes to be at a traffic light, but it is a necessary evil."

The lights aren't running just yet. Mayor Thoma explained they have a few more tweaks to do and then it will be up and running in the next couple of weeks.


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