Funds To Replace
At 7 Intersections
BY SARAH R. GREGORY
Several traffic signals in Greeneville will soon undergo work to make their timing more efficient and save frustrated motorists excessive wait-times at red lights.
The Greeneville Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of a bid to replace detector loops at seven intersections and perform repairs on three others.
They took the action at the regular meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
Detector loops are found in the pavement under traffic signals, near a lane's stop line. They detect approaching traffic and send a signal back to a control center so that the most efficient light-changing pattern can be used to suit traffic flow.
Greeneville Public Works Director Brad Peters told the board that detector loops at seven intersections were to be replaced by Knoxville-based Progression Electric, Greeneville's maintenance contractor for the signals.
At those seven intersections, Peters said, at least one approach is running on a timer but is failing to detect approaching vehicles.
That failure results in excessive wait-times in some cases, Peters said, particularly late at night, when there may not be any cross-traffic at all.
The seven intersections that will have replacement detector loops installed are:
* East Andrew Johnson Highway (U.S. 11-E) at the Erwin Highway (Tenn. Rt. 107);
* Tusculum Boulevard at Bernard Avenue;
* McKee Street at College Street;
* College Street at Church Street;
* Asheville Highway (Tenn. Rt. 70) at Vann Road;
* Summer Street at Arnold Road; and,
* East Andrew Johnson Highway at Rufe Taylor Road.
Three more intersections have loops that are still functioning but need repairs or to be resealed in the pavement.
Those three intersections are:
* Bernard Avenue at McKee Street;
* Tusculum Boulevard at Justis Drive; and,
* Church Street at Bernard Avenue.
Peters said that the loop failures were likely the result of insufficient maintenance during a period of many years.
He said in a follow-up interview that the intersections listed here as being in need of replacement or repair are the only ones in Greeneville with known problems relating to detector loops.
The cost for the project is estimated at just over $17,000.
Peters said that the expense would result in one line item in the Public Works Department's 2013-2014 budget being in excess of what had been budgeted for the current fiscal year.
However, he noted, the expense will be made up elsewhere in the total department budget, which is currently experiencing savings as a result of having six fewer employees on its payroll than last year.
(Peters explained in a follow-up interview that, when the 2012-2013 budget was prepared, the Department of Public Works had 36 employees.
(During that budget year, he said, three of the department's staff retired, one went on disability, and two were discharged.
(Those six positions were included in the 2013-2014 Department of Public Works budget, he said, but the positions have not yet been actually filled.
(However, he explained, Waste Industries, a private company, has been contracted to operate the Greeneville-Greene County Transfer Station and Demolition Landfill, which has been being operated by Town of Greeneville employees.
(The changeover to Waste Industries is expected to take place no later than Nov. 1.
(When it does take place, he said, either five or six of the employees who have been working at the transfer station and landfill will become employees of the Department of Public Works.)