Thursday, May 24, 2012
Traffic lights along three major East Hamilton thoroughfares are scheduled to receive updates this summer that will eventually improve traffic flow throughout the county. But during the implementation there may be some congestion or delays and motorists are asked to be patient, said project director Jidong Yang.
“Once completed, it will improve travel a lot,” he said. “The sensors that will be installed will detect traffic and make decisions on when to turn green and make traffic flow better.”
Traffic engineering professionals will update traffic lights on Lee Highway from Airport Road to Bonny Oaks Drive; Shallowford Road from Hickory Valley Road to Gunbarrel Road; and East Brainerd Road from Vance Avenue to Graysville Road in the coming weeks.
According to Yang, the project will upgrade and connect traffic signals there to the city’s Traffic Operations Center via a wireless mesh network for real-time monitoring and control.
The new system will be able to respond and adapt to traffic demand by adjusting signal timing accordingly. Not only will the new system improve normal daily traffic flow, it will also be able to mitigate and reduce congestion during abnormal situations, such as incidents or special events, he said.
“When there’s a traffic backup on the interstate and traffic is diverted to the side streets it will adjust the traffic timing and make traffic much better on the freeway and the side streets,” said Yang.
The project, which is funded by the Federal Highway Administration Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, is slated to update 115 traffic lights along 14 thoroughfares in Chattanooga and surrounding communities, including East Ridge and Red Bank.