The city is trying hard to get the most benefit from limited tax revenues. Whenever someone requests a traffic light at an intersection, they are told it costs some outrageous amount. Given that, why is the city replacing what appear to be perfectly good traffic lights and poles around the city?
— Bill Sandras
ANSWER: Here’s your answer from City Traffic Engineer Dave Krauth: “The city has begun a comprehensive traffic signal replacement project to address our aging system. We are finding that the span wire type of signal (those signals suspended by wires) have an expected life span of 20 to 25 years on average and many of our signals are over 25 years old.
“As the City began seeing above-average growth in the mid-80s, and with it growth to our transportation infrastructure, many signals within our City are beginning to hit this critical life span. Just because a signal is over 20 years old does not mean we are replacing it. All signals are being reviewed to see if they are showing signs of age and deterioration and only the more egregious locations are being addressed at this time.
“We are trying to avoid any catastrophic failures such as falling poles, parts and pieces falling off of the overhead wires, etc., some of which has already occurred in the City at times, causing accidents. With our current budget from the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority, we are able to only replace about 10 signals a year, while, on average, 20 signals a year are hitting the 25-year mark. Of the over 560 signalized intersections in the City, over 350 of them are span-wire type installations and will all have hit their expected life span within the next 15 years.”