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East County Wednesday, May 18, 2016 6 years ago

SR 70's time to adapt

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Manatee County, FDOT install new signal lights for better traffic flow.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Manatee County hopes new traffic signal technology will improve the flow of traffic on State Road 70.

The county secured a $1 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration in September 2015 and now will move forward with installing adaptive signal control technology at 20 intersections spanning from Lakewood Ranch Boulevard to Fifth Street West.

County commissioners on May 10 approved an agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation for Manatee County’s staff to install the technology at 10 intersections, at a cost of $210,000, for which the county will be reimbursed. FDOT will improve the other intersections.

“It’s trying to address the needs we have because of the growth in Manatee County,” Commissioner John Chappie said. “This should be a big benefit.”

Sage Kamiya, Manatee County’s deputy director of traffic management, said Manatee County’s transportation staff always looks for grant opportunities to fund transportation projects that benefit the public. 

“In general terms, the expectation is that the delay for the traveler going down State Road 70 will be less,” he said.

Currently, traffic signals in that corridor use time-based signals, meaning the timing for green lights, for example, is based on data collected on traffic patterns and then programmed into a controller. Once the adaptive system is installed, the controllers will use that information as a baseline, but will not be able to alter signal timing based on real-time traffic information.

FDOT spokesman Robin Stublen said the new system will be installed and running by the end of 2016.

Florida Department of Transportation will purchase the equipment and transfer it to Manatee County.

Manatee County and FDOT partnered to install an adaptive signal control technology system along University Parkway in 2016 as a pilot program in the area. FDOT has contracted with the University of Florida to provide a comparison of traffic conditions before and after implementation of the system, but it has not yet been received.

No other adaptive signal control projects are currently funded.

 

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