Traffic Light Goes Out on Major Washington Highway Friday Morning, State Says They’ll Get to It Monday
A power outage Friday morning in northern Richland knocked out several traffic lights, including the one at the intersection of Aaron Drive and State Route 240. While city crews had all lights repaired by 11 a.m., the Washington State Department of Transportation (WDOT) said everyone was off work and the light would be fixed Monday.
S.R. 240 is the primary route used by workers to commute to and from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories -- two of the largest employers in Southeast Washington. Aaron Drive is the main route connecting south Richland and West Richland to the city center and giving access to Highway 182.
Meagan McFadden, spokesperson for WDOT, said the light was blinking red, signaling a four-way stop. Maintenance crews work four 10-hour days and have Friday off.
"It may blink until Monday," she said.
Richland Police Officer David Clark responded to that news with alarm.
"That's going to be a bit of a mess during rush hour... If you can avoid 240 I would," he said.
After checking on the situation himself, Officer Clark confirmed the response from WDOT.
Lieutenant Mike Saunders with the Washington State Patrol said that was unacceptable.
"I think it needs to be fixed... I'll call and see if I can get that to happen," he said.
Just before noon on Friday Lt. Saunders called back saying an electrician was supposed to be en route to repair the light.