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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Have you driven through an intersection that has a flashing yellow arrow? They’re becoming more common in Alabama, and soon, you’ll see many more of them.

The Alabama Department of Transportation and City of Huntsville will soon upgrade 16 intersections with flashing yellow arrows along U.S. 431 and Alabama 53 (Governors Drive).  The new traffic signals are designed to help drivers more safely make left turns.

Work will begin the week of June 1 to install 35 four-arrow signal devices featuring flashing yellow arrows.

After the new signals are in place, drivers will see a solid green arrow, followed by a solid yellow arrow, then a solid red arrow to allow traffic to clear. A flashing yellow arrow will then signify that left turns are permitted after yielding to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.

Four-arrow signals will be installed at the following intersections:

  • U.S. 431 at Taylor Lane
  • U.S. 431 at Caldwell Lane
  • U.S. 431 at Old Big Cove Road
  • U.S. 431 (Governors Drive) at Monte Sano Boulevard
  • U.S. 431 (Governors Drive) at Parkhill Road
  • U.S. 431 (Governors Drive) at Covemont Drive
  • U.S. 431 (Governors Drive) at California Street
  • U.S. 431 (Governors Drive) at Franklin Street
  • U.S. 431 (Governors Drive) at Madison Street/Whitesburg Drive
  • U.S. 431 (Governors Drive) at Gallatin Street
  • U.S. 431 (Governors Drive) at Harvard Road
  • U.S. 431 (Governors Drive) at Monroe Street
  • Alabama 53 (Governors Drive) at Seminole Drive
  • Alabama 53 (Governors Drive) at Clinton Avenue
  • Alabama 53 (Governors Drive) at Triana Boulevard
  • Alabama 53 (Governors Drive) at 14th Street

Some existing signal heads will also be reconfigured.

Work will begin at Taylor Lane and progress one intersection at a time toward Interstate 565. Work at each intersection is estimated to take about four days to complete. The project is expected to be completed in October.

Workers will direct traffic with flags while the signals are being upgraded. Delays are possible. ALDOT asks motorists to drive with care in areas where workers are present.

The estimated cost to ALDOT for materials and assistance provided to the city is $17,000.

Flashing yellow arrows, included in recently adopted federal highway guidelines, are being used increasingly in Alabama and throughout the United States. Huntsville already uses the signals at some intersections. They have also been installed at select intersections in Birmingham and Baldwin County.

The decision to adopt flashing yellow arrows on a national level came after the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, launched a large-scale study of left turn controls used across the United States. The study found the flashing yellow arrow was safer, more effective and easier for drivers to understand than the standard green light most Alabamians currently see when making unprotected left turns.

View an instructional video below from