Greenway lights, downtown traffic in Cleveland Utilities' plans

Greenway lights, downtown traffic in Cleveland Utilities' plans

March 1st, 2012 Paul Leach/Correspondent in News

Cleveland Utilities General Manager Tom Wheeler.

Photo by Randall Higgins/Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Cleveland Utilities has announced plans to install energy-saving lights along a portion of the Cleveland Greenway and to renovate the downtown traffic signal network.

Last week the utility board approved the purchase of 50 Holophane LED lighting fixtures that will be installed on the latest section of the greenway, near Paul Huff Parkway and Home Depot. The devices will cost $54,000.

"It is interesting to point out these are the LED fixtures that are more efficient," Cleveland Utilities General Manager Tom Wheeler said. "I think it is appropriate they are going along the greenway."

Although the lights are expensive, Wheeler said, they save energy and are expected to require less maintenance. The lights are scheduled to be delivered in early April.

The utility plans traffic signal projects, as well.

A new five-way signal will be installed at 20th and Ocoee streets, said Bart Borden, electric division manager. The signal will provide southbound traffic on Ocoee Street a protected left turn onto 20th Street.

In recent meetings with the utility board and the Cleveland City Council, officials discussed the need to replace the 13-signal system that controls traffic along Broad, Ocoee and portions of Inman streets.

Borden said the pre-1990 equipment is safe and still effective, but it is starting to show its age. The signals cannot be replaced piecemeal because they are part of an integrated system.

"We are working in the design phase," Borden said.

The electric division is running tests with isolated traffic signals to determine whether a radio-based, fiber-optic system or a GPS-based network would work best for downtown, Borden said. He estimated the project will cost about $84,000 for either technology.

"We're very excited about getting on this project and getting some of that older equipment replaced and being able to serve the downtown traffic much better," Borden said.

He said no firm date has been set for the project launch, but Cleveland Utilities officials hope to complete the change by June 2013.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.