Richmond to get $21 million for traffic lights

Posted at 1:40 PM, Mar 20, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-20 21:48:11-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – It's been a loud complaint for a long time, why do traffic lights in Richmond never seem to be in sync?  The problem could be going away thanks to a $21 million project to upgrade Richmond's traffic signal system.

Today Richmond's Department of Public Works Transportation Engineering Division announced it is about to begin Phase I of the five-year project to connect the City’s 500 traffic signals to the Traffic Operations Center in City Hall.

The City said the new lights will mean less stop and go driving in Richmond.

In addition to improved timing, the City will install closed-circuit television cameras on the lights. The City said the cameras will help the City monitor weather conditions, manage traffic flow and help police and rescue crews respond to accidents and emergencies.

Phase I of the project, which begins this month, will cover the West End, the Fan and
the Downtown Richmond. The City expected Phase I to be completed in July 2013 at a cost of $5.3 million. The City indicated that money will come from the federal government.

Phase II, which is expected to be completed by 2015, will focus on South Richmond. The city said the design portion of this phase would be done by Dec. 2012. Phase II would cost $10 million and is also funded by the federal government.

Phase III, which won't begin until 2016, would cover remaining intersections in the City. Phase III has  $5.6 price tag. The City indicated it would also be paid for with federal funds.

The City said work would take place between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and crews might have to close lane in order to complete the project.