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Town seeks funds for traffic light updates

  • Wednesday, February 12, 2014

In an effort to quell traffic jams around town, the Town of Summerville and the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) are planning to upgrade traffic signals on North Main Street.

The project involves adding signalization capabilities to existing traffic lights, which will monitor traffic flow and adapt the lights accordingly.

For example, if the lights monitor minimal traffic on side streets and heavy traffic on main streets, they will allow the heavy traffic flow to continue for longer periods between red lights.

“Essentially the light won’t change (without a) reason,” said Town Engineer Russ Cornette.

SCDOT estimated adding the signalization to 10 traffic lights along North Main Street, between I-26 and Richardson Avenue, will cost $436,000, according to Cornette.

He said the SCDOT crews would perform the upgrades “hopefully within 2014.”

Full funding for the project must be secured first before signing an agreement with SCDOT to start construction.

The Town budgeted $150,000 of Hospitality/Accommodations Tax funds for the upgrades and SCDOT has also agreed to provide $160,000 for the project.

Cornette said he hopes the remainder of the funds will come from county governments; the Dorchester County Transportation Committee has already approved his request for $75,263, and he applied for the remaining funds from the Berkeley County Transportation Committee.

Four of the traffic lights being upgraded are in Berkeley County; the remaining six are in Dorchester County.

“I think this is going to benefit traffic flow all over town,” Cornette said.

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