Mayor announces funds for new traffic signals

Mayor Ken Cockayne recently announced the receipt of a grant from the Connecticut Department of Transportation that will enable the City of Bristol to replace traditional traffic signals with newer vehicle detection cameras.

The $528,000 grant for the signalization project helps to smooth traffic patterns and is an important means of reducing pollution and emissions within congested areas.

“This grant will help us maintain the signals and move traffic through high-density corridors with more efficiency,” Cockayne said in the press release. “We could not have funded this project without the support of ConnDOT, and we appreciate the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency for recognizing the need to upgrade the signals in Bristol.”

The City of Bristol applied for ConnDOT Local Transportation Capital Improvements Program funds to help finance the installation of traffic signal vehicle detection cameras. The application was approved by the CCRPA Board in early 2014.

“This is an important tool that will help us move traffic smoothly through city streets,” said Police Chief Thomas Grimaldi, according to the release. In the news release, the chief noted that during rush hours, the use of vehicle detection cameras helps to adjust the flow patterns of traffic at arterial and collector roadways in the areas around Route 72, Route 6, and Route 69, as well as in surrounding residential “short-cut” streets.

Many communities are moving away from traditional loop detector systems (installed in the pavement) and installing vehicle detection cameras, said the city’s news release. The cameras provide vehicles stopped at an intersection with a signal allowing them to proceed. Since the cameras are mounted high off the ground, they are not prone to damage from inclement weather like the loop detectors.

“We’ll work with the Purchasing Department to get this program underway as soon as possible, said Lt. Edward Spyros, head of the Traffic Division, reported the city’s press release. “This is going to make a big difference for traffic control in the City of Bristol, and we are very happy about the award of this grant money.”