Local traffic lights get upgrade

Local traffic lights get upgrade

May 31st, 2012 by Rachel Sauls in Community Downtown

Traffic lights along seven East Chattanooga 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."

In the coming weeks, traffic engineering professionals will update traffic lights on Brainerd Road from Elmwood Drive to East Brainerd Road; North and South Terrace from Germantown Road to Spring Creek Road; East 23rd Street from Dodds Avenue to Rossville Boulevard; Fourth Avenue from the I-24 eastbound ramp to East 23rd Street; Rossville Boulevard from 28th Street to 48th Street; Dodds Avenue from East 23rd Street to Citico Avenue; and Ringgold Road from South Seminole Drive to Frawley Road.

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.