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Growth near Lake Lavon has meant an often hard-fought battle to improve the main artery through the Wylie area.

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Through most of Wylie and Lavon, Highway 78 is three lanes each way and the traffic zips along. But for a few mile stretch, traffic grinds to a halt.

SH 78 is one lane each direction, and Lavon Police chief Mike Jones says it’s a problem his officers deal with every day.

(Photo Matt Thomas, 1080 KRLD)

(Photo Matt Thomas, 1080 KRLD)

“Some of the problems we’re having is cut-through drivers. Drivers that go through the neighborhoods at a high rate of speed, so we’re doing saturation patrols through there. We’re also putting officers when we can on the light to control the tempo of the light so it can clear the area a little quicker and it’s not cycling through empty lanes,” Chief Jones said.

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The light he referenced is at Highway 205, and not far away, Tim Coleson has run motorcycle shop High Energy Customs for the past 11 years. Coleson says, “They come barreling down this road 50, 60 miles an hour three lanes deep and they funnel them down to one lane at a red light.” Coleson has seen his fair share of accidents, telling us, “I usually pull the bikes out at 4 o’clock because a lot of times when they have an accident I’ve had them have cars up here before so I pull the bikes back so they don’t get hit by the cars.”

It was near 205 this past spring that Nevada fire captain Peter Hacking and two of his children were killed in a head-on crash. Chief Jones was a good friend. “I think that his passing did bring attention to the issue and has allowed people to understand just how dangerous that is. His wife’s world was ended in a split second,” Chief Jones said.

Expansion of the narrow section of 78 was supposed to be done last year, but rain has pushed the completion date back to another year or so.

Chief Jones told us, “Before that we’re going to see some really big improvements. Once they finish the other side of the road from Spring Creek by the Wal-Mart all the way out to the bridge that will allow them to split the traffic on either side.”

Everyone is looking forward to the wrap-up of the multi-year project. “Traffic wise, I think it’ll help move things along,” Coleson said.

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