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Work on traffic lights set for fall

March 07, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

Work is expected to begin in late fall on a $2.8 million project to replace 56 traffic signals in Hagerstown, a city official said Thursday.

"This is a major league project," said Assistant City Engineer Rodney Tissue. He said many of the signals to be replaced are along U.S. 40.

Completion of the replacement program could take more than two years, Tissue said.

Because of the work, parts of traffic lanes will be closed at times, Tissue said.

Signals to be replaced include 30 owned by the state on Franklin and Washington streets from Cannon Avenue to Nottingham Road and on Burhans Boulevard at Church and Antietam streets.

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Another 26 signals owned by the city will be replaced on Cannon Avenue, Mulberry Street, Locust Street, Potomac Street, Summit Avenue, Jonathan Street, North Prospect Street and Walnut Lane, Tissue said.

The city's share of the project's cost is $850,000, and the state will pick up the remaining $1.9 million, Tissue said.

Bond money and community development block grant funds will be used to pay for the city's share of the project.

The signal replacement is necessary because many of the lights are more than 40 years old and cannot be programmed to meet traffic demands, Tissue said.

They also lack safety features that new signals have, he said.

For instance, should a truck hit an older signal, it probably will go out, Tissue said. On newer models, the lights flash, warning motorists to proceed with caution.

The project includes replacing signal poles, pedestrian signals, wiring and controllers.

The mast arms from which the traffic signals hang along U.S. 40 will be replaced with green L-shaped mast arms, Tissue said. The traffic signal covers will be black or gray instead of the current yellow.

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