Grand Ave. to get traffic cameras |

Grand Ave. to get traffic cameras

Ryan Graff
Special to the Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The Colorado Department of Transportation is planning to install vehicle-detection cameras at intersections on Grand Avenue to help the flow of traffic during the Grand Avenue Paving Project.

“Historically, lights have been controlled by loops in the pavement,” said Steve Olson, a project engineer for CDOT.

Instead, CDOT is planning cameras at Grand Avenue intersections connected by fiber optics to detect vehicles.

“The hope and intention is to get the fiber in before the paving project,” said Charles Myer, CDOT traffic operations engineer.

The big advantage of that would be that the cameras could be used during the project.

The current pavement loops detect a car waiting at an intersection and signal the light to change, said Myer. Those loops, which function like metal detectors, only work for a specific traffic movement, and as traffic patterns change to accommodate GAPP construction the loops won’t work, said Myer.

The detection zone of the new cameras will be able to be moved to different parts of the intersection and detect the variety of traffic patterns that vehicles will move in during GAPP, said Myer.

After GAPP is completed, the cameras will still provide a valuable service, offering real-time information to CDOT workers in Glenwood Springs, said Olson.

Although the cameras will detect traffic, they cannot be used for surveillance.

“The cameras are made for detection and that is it,” said Myer.

The cameras provide only enough resolution to see the image of a car, said Myer.

CDOT plans to begin accepting contractor bids to install the cameras and fiber optic lines this spring, said Myer. Once a bid is accepted, the project will be paid for with a grant CDOT received from the federal government.

Construction of the camera project should begin sometime this summer, and will mainly require underground work, said Myer. There should relatively little impact on traffic during installation, he said.

Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 534

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