Work begins on traffic light for US 1 near Nease High School

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A project to install a traffic light at a busy St. Johns County intersection that has worried parents for years is moving forward.

U.S. 1 and Ray Road – just blocks from Nease High School -- has been the site of several accidents in recent years, including one in October that severely injured two sisters -- Mackenzie Felmet, 17, and Sydney Felmet, 15.

The Florida Department of Transportation has surveyed the intersection and put out flags marking gas and utility lines that crews will have to work around in preparation for the installation.

President of the Parent/Teacher/Student Organization, Alexis McDaniel, said she has heard too many crashes the intersection that thousands of Nease students travel to and from school every day. She says parents have wanted a traffic light at the intersection for years.

"We refer to it as a death trap, because every morning when I send my daughter off to school I'm worried that she might get into an accident," McDaniel said.

McDaniel said the PTSO has worked with county and state officials to bring a light to this intersection. FDOT told News4Jax that a traffic light planned for that intersection was to be expedited after the October crash. To speed up the process, workers will put a light on cables suspended from concrete poles over the road than the previous plan of installing a traffic light arm. The light should be up and running before the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.

"That will help improve (my daughter's) safety when she gets to school, so, as a parent, I'm going to be excited," McDaniel said.