TV2: Construction delays push completion dates back

Whitney Chaffin

KentWired Video

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New traffic lights and crosswalks in Kent were supposed to be up and running in

September, but City Engineer Jim Bowling said delays push the completion date

back to December.

“We’re having trouble getting through some of the weather and some equipment

ordered,” Bowling said. “But understand it’s a year and a half long project so a

couple months isn’t a big extension.”

The 59 Signal project put $3.2 million to invest in 10 new black

light poles, traffic control systems, curb ramps, pedestrian walkways and alert

systems to move people and traffic from Middlebury to Horning Road much smoother.

“More flexibility is what we’re trying to achieve,” Bowling said.

The black poles are an aesthetic upgrade to set a new standard in the city and are

partly due to weather complications. The buttons for the crosswalk signals will now

be more visible and accessible for handicapped public.

When someone pushes the crosswalk alert button, it will light up and vibrate to let

the pedestrian know a signal has been sent to the system. Once the screen alerts the

pedestrian to walk, it will give the crosser a countdown of how long he or she has to

cross the street.

“We’re doing this through replacing antiquated signal systems and creating the

traffic control center so we can monitor and be more flexible in controlling the

system,” Bowling said.

In the meantime, Bowling said he and the city are doing the best they can to mitigate

the traffic delays and ease congestion.

“We really do appreciate everyone’s patience with that,” Bowling said. “The whole

reason for doing most of the projects that are causing the delay, it to make it better

once we’re done.”

Contact Whitney Chaffin at [email protected].