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Traffic light will need addressed

Sep 29, 2023

Aug 26, 2023

The replacement of a single set of traffic lights might not seem like much, but it could turn out to be a major – and expensive – project for the City of Weirton.

The intersection of Rothrock Avenue and Lindberg Way is the only one on Marland Heights with a traffic control device. It’s a small intersection, but an important one resting within the mostly residential neighborhood.

According to the city’s electrician, though, the light is at least 30 years past its usable life. It has only survived this long, it seems, because of the work and ingenuity of city staff who have had to fabricate their own parts to keep it operational.

It was pointed out the City of Weirton itself only owns a handful of traffic light systems in the city. The others are actually owned by the state, though often are maintained by city employees. This particular light also happens to be the oldest one in the city. It is literally an analog system in a digital world; full of gears and switches instead of circuit boards.

Replacing it, officials say, will cost the city a minimum of $65,000 and easily could surpass $100,000.

It’s another example of the sins of our past.

For much of the city’s existence, it relied on the “generosity” of its one major employer. Weirton Steel provided not only thousands of jobs, but took care of many of the city’s needs. Where it couldn’t directly provide a service, it provided money to help cover the costs of that service.

When Weirton Steel disappeared, so did that support we all had been accustomed to. It left the community in a rut we continue to dig out of, with necessary improvements either kicked down the road with a hope of addressing them eventually, or ignored entirely.

This is something that can’t be ignored any longer, though. We know the City of Weirton has been focusing on other projects as well, but this is a matter of the safety of our residents and visitors to the city.

We encourage Weirton’s elected leaders to make sure it is taken care of soon.

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