Stoplights now in place at Madisonville intersection

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MADISONVILLE, LA -- Madisonville is now officially a one stoplight town.  Well, it actually one intersection with a system of stoplights hanging above it.

The town is working with St. Tammany Parish leaders and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to come up with a way to reduce traffic in the area.

The traffic lights are at the intersection of Hwy 21 and Hwy 22/Hwy 1077.  It's the first busy intersection west of the Tchefuncte River on Hwy 22.

The DOTD says for years it's been studying the traffic problems in the area.  In 2006, the intersection became a four-way stop.  But increased residential development west of the Tchefuncte and other issues eventually brought traffic to the area to a grind during peak travel hours.

After the most recent traffic study, the DOTD opted to add the traffic lights and re-striped the intersection.

Last November, the parish announced it would conduct four studies to evaluate traffic in the area.  One of those adjusted the hours for opening the swinging bridge over the Tchefuncte.

At the time the studies were announced, the parish expected the evaluations to take as much as six months.  But the new light were installed in less than five.