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Traffic light up and running on Blue Diamond where teen girl was killed

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Traffic light up and running on Blue Diamond where teen girl was killed

By Jennifer Kastner. CREATED Aug 13, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- On Thursday afternoon, NDOT officials will formally present the new traffic light at the once deadly intersection of Blue Diamond Road and Cimarron Road.

It comes after the community rallied for change, following the death of 14-year-old Helen Liu. She was hit and killed last November while crossing near the intersection with her two friends.

"As a person here in this neighborhood, I'm excited and glad that the light is up but it's too bad that somebody had to die in order for it to happen," said southwest valley resident Antonio Ramos.

"I hope it helps. I just hope it cuts down on the car accidents and tragedies on the road," added Bernhardt Mattes, who also lives in the area.

Since Helen Liu's death, her family moved back to China. On Wednesday, Action News received an email from her mother that reads, in part, "More lives can be saved this way. At the same time [I], wish the light was presented before my daughter's accident. We miss her so much every day. Nothing can bring her back."

While there are positive aspects about the project, concerns have been raised about the initial weeks in which it's in use. One resident believes drivers' complacency will cause them to drive right through the intersection, that was once without a traffic signal.

Action News witnessed a crash at the intersection while gathering interviews and video about the new light. The circumstances behind the crash were unclear at the time.

The press conference about the signal will be held at 1:30 p.m. The total cost for the signal is more than $1.3 million.

On Thursday morning, crews were still working on safety improvements. Workers could be setting up a concrete barrier on the south side of Blue Diamond at Cimarron Road. They are hoping that the barrier will make the right-hand turn lane safer for drivers.

Reporter Denise Wong contributed to this report.