BY JANAE JOACHIM
The City of Wadsworth will be installing and implementing traffic lights where Broad Street intersects Silvercreek Road.
“The project is going to be finished real soon,” said Robert Patrick, Director of Public Service.
This process started last fall when an outside contractor came to do groundwork such as installing new sidewalk entrances, bases for signal poles and underground lines.
Wadsworth’s traffic signal department then had to order the necessary equipment to conduct the construction of the traffic lights including things like signal poles, mast arms, control boxes, pedestrian signals, wires and processors. Some of this equipment took two weeks to come in while others took six months.
“We’ve been gathering that equipment, we’ve been going out and doing installations,” Patrick said. “They get everything ready, they do a lot of work at the shop.”
The signal poles arrived two weeks ago, the last item to come in, and the crew installed them immediately. The next step was installing the signals and hooking everything up.
“Our crews were ready to go,” Patrick said.
Although the light will soon be fully installed, it will not be full-functioning right away.
“There is a process they go through to get the signal going so everyone is understanding of the changes,” Patrick said.
First, it will flash to get people used to it. Then it will go into its regular operation. After some time of normal operation, it will be observed to decide if modifications need to be made (on the amount of time the light is green or red).
The decision to install a light began with citizens’ complaints of struggles at the intersection of the two roads, especially considering the addition of the Dollar General.
“There is enough traffic there, or there have been accidents there,” said Patrick.
A professional traffic signal engineer was then brought in to do studies to decide if a signal would meet the criteria to be warranted for the spot.
“They monitor the traffic, they do counts, they look at the development around the area,” Patrick said.
Additional developments over the years have increased traffic in the area, which helped this light meet the criteria to become warranted.
The project will cost around $175,000-$180,000. Around $50,000 is being saved by the traffic signal department employees doing the installation work themselves.
“It’s been a real nice team effort by a number of different departments,” Patrick said.