New "HAWK" beacon traffic device for Jacksonville High School

JACKSONVILLE, NC (WITN) - A traffic signal is now being constructed at the Jacksonville High School crosswalk, where 2 students were hit by vehicles last school year.

Crews began building what is called a HAWK beacon on Henderson Drive in front of Jacksonville High School Thursday.

Ron Masse is the Jacksonville Deputy City Manager. He said the main goal of the new traffic device is safety.

"Because of the number of accidents, we needed to go that extra measure, and will possibly end up having to deal with a little bit of a problem," said Masse.

The new signal will have standard stoplights, going from green to yellow to red. All traffic will have to stop in the middle of Henderson Drive, and there are concerns that traffic could back up into the already busy intersection with Gumbranch Road.

Student Jonathan Erris said, "It does really get congested, especially for the light that's over there, and with this, the light just takes a lot of time and it just backs up."

Drivers said Henderson Drive is extremely busy during drop off and pick up times, and they think a new stoplight will only add to the congestion but hope it will increase safety for students in the area.