PEORIA — Spurred by accidents, one of them fatal within the past two years, state Rep. Mike Unes announced new traffic signals will go active on Tuesday at the intersection of U.S. Route 24 and Cameron Lane.

In a news release, Unes said he started working with the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Police after an Oct. 12, 2017, crash that claimed the life of a 21-year-old Pekin woman.

Unes said that there hadn't been any signals at the intersection prior to the new ones being installed. From start to finish, it took about 18 months or so, he said.

“This is a long time coming,” Unes said in the news release. “I have heard about so many accidents and close calls at this intersection. Since late 2017, I have been relentless in insisting the state improve safety by installing traffic lights here. I made it clear that I would not relent on this project until it was completed. I appreciate the speed in which IDOT acted.”

He said he pushed so hard as he had heard about a lot of near-misses and didn't want another tragedy to occur.

Hollis Township Road Commissioner Dennis Beckman added: “The tremendous amount of work Rep. Unes did, and the speed at which he was able to get this plan into action and completed, was really amazing. The community is extremely grateful for his determination and persistence in making a heavily traveled area safer for everyone.”

Route 24 is a heavily traveled stretch of road and one of two arteries connecting Peoria and Fulton counties.