Lights out

Keene police Lt. Shane Maxfield handles a broken traffic light near Roxbury Street on Thursday.

Traffic lights in Keene’s Central Square were back in business Friday after a broken signal took them out of service Thursday afternoon.

Crews made repairs to the damaged Roxbury Street signal Friday and the lights were back up by noon.

Keene police arrived to deal with the problem just before 2 p.m. Thursday. Lt. Shane C. Maxfield said a utility company was working underneath a nearby sidewalk hatch when its equipment knocked the traffic light off its pole and left it dangling upside-down by its cords.

City Manager Elizabeth A. Dragon said this morning the company was Twin State Utilities.

The incident also caused Roxbury Street’s traffic signals — the damaged one and its brother on the square — to malfunction, showing a constant red light, even when the green arrows appeared. Maxfield and Barry Hilton, the traffic control technician, disconnected the power and pulled down the large light, but the other Roxbury Street signal continued to malfunction.

Keene police officers directed traffic and helped people cross the square for more than half an hour Thursday afternoon before Hilton realized the problem needed outside help, which arrived this morning, and he set the lights to flash red and yellow for drivers in the meantime.

Once the police submit an accident report for the broken traffic signal, Dragon said the city will seek reimbursement for the damages from Twin State Utilities’ insurance.

Sierra Hubbard can be reached at 355-8546 or at Follow her on Twitter @SierraHubbardKS.