Montgomery County Completes Traffic Signal Modernization
Three weeks ahead of schedule, the Department of Transportation has completed conversion of its 1980 vintage Traffic Signal System that controls the County’s 800 traffic signals. The old system relied on one central computer to control signal timing. The new system has signal controllers at intersections that also can be centrally managed and features the flexibility to allow future upgrades.
Although upgraded over the years, the technology had become obsolete and many of the parts and components were no longer available. In 2009, following a problem with the outdated equipment, County Executive Ike Leggett accelerated the schedule for replacement of the signal system.
The signal upgrade project has three phases:
- Phases one and two, now complete, replaced the central computers and software, installed new local intersection controllers and upgraded the communications network. In addition to all of the control and monitoring functions of the current signal system, the new system has additional capabilities and tools that will optimize traffic flow and support future applications.
- Phase three will be completed over the next three years. During that time, other signal devices in the County -- such as school flashers and hazard beacons -- will be brought under the system’s control. In addition, in case of power failures, back-up power systems will be installed at all 250 County-owned traffic signals.
The cost for planning and implementation of the two completed phases of the signal system was $25.1 million. Phase three will cost $10.8 million.
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