New traffic lights to improve traffic efficiency



Drew Parker

Construction of 11 traffic lights is underway up and down state Route 59 to replace outdated designs with modern, computerized signalization systems.

“We’re looking to have more flexibility with (traffic light) timings on state Route 59,” said Jon Gianquinto, senior engineer for the Department of Public Service. “Traffic increases tremendously when school starts in the fall. This equipment will be more reliable.”

The construction, which began in May 2010, will continue at intersections near the east side of campus — the Horning, Midway, Terrace, Lincoln, Depeyster, Haymaker, Water, Summit, Mantua, Stow and Middleberry street intersections.

The current construction is the first of a five-phase approach that will be taken for upgrading the lighting systems. A 180 percent reduction in light delays, a 14 percent reduction in stops and reductions in air pollution are expected upon completion of the project.

Gianquinto said the current city traffic lights are inefficient and about 30 years past their design life.

The federal government and the City of Kent will each pitch in to pay for the $2.1 million project. Federal funding will pay for 80 percent of the project and the city will cover the remaining 20 percent.

Construction is expected to be complete by Sept. 30.

Contact Summer Kent Stater reporter Drew Parker at [email protected].