Semitrailer snags, mangles new traffic light installation

ST. GEORGE – Despite a new set of traffic signals being installed at the intersection of Mall Drive and 3000 East recently, motorists will have to treat it like a four-way stop due to a collision that ripped traffic lights off one of the poles Monday.

A boom on a piece of heavy equipment being hauled on a semitrailer snagged a traffic light and ripped off the traffic lights attached to it when the driver turned from Mall Drive onto 3000 East. The collision rotated the snagged traffic pole about 45 degrees and snapped underground conduit, shutting down power to the lights at the intersection, St. George, Utah, April 19, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler St. George News
A boom on a piece of heavy equipment being hauled on a semitrailer snagged a traffic light and ripped off the traffic lights attached to it when the driver turned from Mall Drive onto 3000 East. The collision rotated the snagged traffic pole about 45 degrees and snapped underground conduit, shutting down power to the lights at the intersection, St. George, Utah, April 19, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler St. George News

Around 7:45 a.m., the driver of a semitrailer hauling heavy equipment misjudged the height of the light poles in relation to a boom that was a part of his load, St. George Police Officer Lona Trombley said. The resulting incident impacted traffic around the intersection for at least an hour, she said.

“So as (the driver) went through, he hit the signal arm and it rotated the signal pole, even clear down to the base, and it ripped off all of the signal heads,” Cameron Cutler, public works director for the City of St. George, said.

The snagged light pole was pulled back about 45 degrees from its original position.

Cutler said the driver was a part of a subcontractor’s group that was working on a gas line project in the area, and apparently hadn’t fastened everything down on the trailer before hitting the road.

The collision snapped underground conduits feeding power to the traffic lights and shut down the signals at the intersection. This resulted in the City of St. George putting up temporary stop signs with motorists treating it as a four-way stop for the time being.

A boom on a piece of heavy equipment being hauled on a semitrailer snagged a traffic light and ripped off the traffic lights attached to it when the driver turned from Mall Drive onto 3000 East. The collision rotated the snagged traffic pole about 45 degrees and snapped underground conduit, shutting down power to the lights at the intersection, St. George, Utah, April 19, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler St. George News
A boom on a piece of heavy equipment being hauled on a semitrailer snagged a traffic light and ripped off the traffic lights attached to it when the driver turned from Mall Drive onto 3000 East. The collision rotated the snagged traffic pole about 45 degrees and snapped underground conduit, shutting down power to the lights at the intersection, St. George, Utah, April 19, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler St. George News

Depending on the overall damage, Cutler said, it could be a few weeks before the traffic signals are up and running again. If the concrete pillar the light pole is anchored to proves to be damaged, it will have to be dug out and reinstalled.

Only the semitrailer and traffic light were involved in the collision, and no one was harmed. The driver was cited for having an oversized vehicle, Trombley said.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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