Drivers who travel Highway 34 will notice a change at the intersection of Seven Mile Lane: a new traffic signal, activated Wednesday afternoon.

The project began this summer and was to have been finished earlier this month. It took a little longer than expected because streetlights still needed to be installed around the intersection. A manufacturing problem delayed their delivery, said Linn County Roadmaster Darrin Lane.

Crews spent Wednesday morning directing traffic manually while they took down the flashing light, which has marked the intersection for years.

Now, motorists heading either north or south on Seven Mile Lane will have to wait for a green traffic light to cross Highway 34. They also will have a protected turn lane with a signal to go either east or west.

Drivers traveling on Highway 34 also will have protected left turn lanes and signals in both directions.

A warning light on the highway east of the intersection is meant to give drivers a heads-up about the change, Lane said.

"Our big concern is we don’t want people to forget or not realize there’s a signal up there," he said.

Lane said the work was budgeted at $957,612 and is well within that figure.

The project is the first phase of a two-part effort in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Transportation.

In a second phase, ODOT will also install traffic safety barriers in the median of Highway 34 between Goltra Road, southeast of Albany, and Colorado Lake Drive, east of Corvallis.

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