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New road projects en route

Expected to drive down traffic

For anyone who has ever been frustrated while sitting at a traffic light on Highway 153, relief is on the way early next year.

City of Chattanooga traffic signal systems engineer Jidong Yang is working on a $7.4 million new traffic signal system for the city to be installed next year, which he said will include all outlying communities with traffic signals.

A special project on Highway 153 will involve the installation of an adaptive traffic control system.

The signals on Highway 153 currently operate on a fixed time-of-day signal timing plan, which is based on historical data and cannot be changed on the fly to correspond with traffic flow. The adaptive control system signals will use cameras installed at intersections to monitor traffic, and a wireless mesh network will allow signal timing to be altered automatically if an incident such as an accident occurs. It will also allow for the coordination of all intersections on the Highway 153 corridor to minimize delay during peak congestion hours, explained Yang.

“We are anticipating you will see reduced delay when this system is deployed,” said city of Chattanooga traffic engineer John Van Winkle, adding that the new system should also cut down on emission levels in the atmosphere from cars.

Several road improvements are also on the drawing board in Hixson, according to Dennis Malone, city of Chattanooga engineer.

On Hamill Road, the city plans to levy the trench settlements between Adams Road and Creek Bridge, a project which is in the final stage of the design process and will go out for bid in mid-winter. The cost is expected to be around $800,000, he said.

Through the Federal Safe Routes to School program, the city has obtained grant funds to build sidewalks near Big Ridge Elementary from Hamill Road to Coach Drive along Cassandra Smith Road. Plans for a roundabout at the intersection of Hamill and Cassandra Smith roads are also in the works to help with traffic near Big Ridge in the peak morning hours and when school lets out, said Malone.

Once that project materializes, the second roundabout on the city’s list to receive funding will be at the intersection of Norcross and Gadd roads.

Malone also reported that soil stabilization work is necessary on Lake Resort Drive, which is expected to cost around $200,000.

An intersection improvement is planned for the west side of Northpoint Boulevard where it meets Hixson Pike, a project he said will require $300,000 in construction costs.

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