Traffic Signal Upgrade Project

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For an update on this project, see the following reports: 

Traffic Signal System Update Report (Fall 2016) 

Traffic Signal System Update Report (Fall 2013)

Traffic control centerThe Town of Chapel Hill traffic signal system project upgraded the existing 14-year-old system of about 115 signals in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. The $5 million project, funded by the Town of Chapel Hill and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, began in 2010 and was completed in the summer of 2012.

The project’s key elements are:
 • pedestrian countdown displays at locations with existing pedestrian signals
 • replacement/upgrade of existing cabinets and controllers
 • new traffic signal phasing at selected locations
 • emergency vehicle preemption at selected locations
 • bicycle activated loops at selected locations.
 • fiber optic communication cable infrastructure
 • closed-circuit television (CCTV) equipment at selected locations
 • new system detectors

The signal system project was coupled with an effort to install fiber optic communications cable linking Town of Chapel Hill administrative, service and recreation facilities. The fiber optic part of the project installed about 30 miles of municipal fiber optic cable connecting 15 Town facilities. The cable routing and capacity design included considerations for future needs such as connectivity for schools. The project will provide high speed data communications to facilitate voice, data and video services for Town facilities.

The project also included the installation of a new Traffic Management Center (TMC), located in the Public Works Department at 6850 Millhouse Road. The TMC receives feeds from closed circuit television cameras trained on major arteries, allowing operations staff to track traffic conditions at key locations in the community. The TMC is equipped with eight monitors to view the traffic flow through 16 different intersections that are equipped with traffic cameras. The Town of Chapel Hill does not archive or retain any of the images from the traffic cameras. Similar systems have been installed in municipalities across NC and the United States. Benefits of these systems include enhanced roadway safety, decreased traffic congestion during special events and rush hour, faster programming for real-time adjustments to traffic signals, reduced travel time, and improved air quality.

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