Redondo Avenue is getting a new stoplight, and the city of Signal Hill is paying for it as part of a project to increase traffic flow near Browning High School in East Long Beach, according to city documents.
The new signal will be installed at the T-intersection of Redondo Avenue and 20th Street just south of Browning High School and near the top of a hill where left turns onto Redondo are currently illegal.
Signal lights, crosswalks, pedestrian countdown signs and other street improvements will be paid for and completed by the city of Signal Hill, which will transfer ongoing maintenance to Long Beach after it’s completed. The intersection is near the border of the two cities.
The $541,000 project still needs to be approved by the Long Beach City Council, which is expected to approve it during its Tuesday meeting.
Patrick Kelley, a contracts manager with Signal Hill Public Works, said that construction would likely start around October due to the backlog of orders for the specialty signal infrastructure that will be installed at the intersection.
The signal has been in the planning stages for several years. Signal Hill hired a consultant to complete a traffic study in February 2017 before the opening of Browning High School, which sits about three blocks north at the corner of Hill Street and Redondo Avenue.
The six-year-old study projected that traffic would likely increase by 2020, the first full year that Browning would have students enrolled at every grade level. Browning had about 410 students in 2022, according to US News & World Report.
Data from the study did not find the intersection to be dangerous for vehicles—there were zero recorded accidents during the scope of the study—but it did say that vehicles turning right or left onto 20th Street could pose dangers for pedestrians, like students walking home from Browning.
The study was based on the projected volume of vehicles, however, a city representative did not respond to questions on whether those vehicle volumes were actually realized after the school opened in the fall of 2017. The signal is expected to help regulate peak-hour traffic, according to the city of Signal Hill.
Once construction begins on the traffic signals, it could take about 90 work days to complete, according to documents posted for the March 28 Signal Hill City Council meeting.
While detours might not be necessary, Michael Fratino, a spokesperson for Signal Hill, said that the project could use alternating lane closures to allow traffic to continue through the work site.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with more information from Signal Hill.