Greeneville drivers will get a preview soon of new traffic detection equipment that will eventually be used to help traffic safety along Highway 11E.
The Greeneville Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the purchase of a radar system for vehicle detection for two traffic signals on East Andrew Johnson Highway at its meeting Tuesday.
The new equipment will be installed at the intersections at the Greeneville Commons Shipping Center and nearby Bob Smith Boulevard.
A number of traffic signals in town have vehicle detection equipment installed. Metal strips in the pavement trigger a change in the light once a vehicle drives onto them, explained Town Engineer and Director of Public Works Brad Peters.
However, they have to be replaced after repaving, which is what has occurred at both intersections, Peters said. The Public Works Department has repaved Bob Smith Boulevard. The drive into the Greeneville Commons has been repaved as part of the recent improvements made by Brixmor Property Group.
Apart from repaving, metal equipment in the pavement has to be replaced every three to five years and can be subject to breaking due to freezing of the asphalt or wear from vehicles running across, Peters said.
As part of the town’s current project to improve traffic safety and reduce congestion on Highway 11E, a different detection system is planned for installation at the traffic signals, Peters said.
This system is radar-based for counting vehicles at a signal, and once it is installed, it requires almost no maintenance and is more reliable in operation, the board was told.
Rather than spending about $1,800 for each of the three metal loop detectors that would be needed at the intersections that would eventually be replaced by this system, Peters said the recommendation is to upgrade to the radar system at these two intersections.
The cost of the equipment, $22,322, is a significant increase in expense but will be reimbursed by a grant the town will receive for the traffic signalization project, he said.
The purchase is not currently in the budget, but the purchase can be covered by funds now designated for street paving, Peters said. Paving projects would then be adjusted for next year.
Currently, design for improving the intersections is being completed, and after it is finished, bids for the work involved can be sought, he said.
In a related item, the board approved the purchase of a traffic signal conflict monitor tester for $10,790, which is included in the current Public Works budget. This equipment tests to make sure sensors in traffic signals that detect vehicles are working properly.
OTHER ACTION, BEER BOARD
In separate action. the board approved a special event application for the Greeneville Christmas Parade, which will take place Dec. 8 and have a theme of “Songs of the Seasons.”
Special event sign requests were approved for the Greeneville Woman’s Club Holiday Bazaar on Nov. 2-3 and the Greeneville City Schools Education Foundation’s Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.
Meeting as the Beer Board, aldermen approved an application for on-premise consumption at Hampton Inn on East Andrew Johnson Highway.