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City of San Angelo News Stories and Videos

What goes into replacing a traffic signal?

Post Date:01/10/2020 9:32 AM

Replacing a traffic signal is a lengthy process. Notwithstanding the City's purchasing requirements, there are several steps to the process. 

We optimally attempt to standardize the materials we use. But, unfortunately with traffic signals, this is limited to the brand or type of electrical equipment. Each intersection is unique and requires different dimensions (length or masts, height of poles, size and type of anchors, etc.) such that it is not reasonable to keep these large replacement parts in stock. We do have some of these items on-hand, but it is very lucky if the intersection that is damaged matches what we have. 

If the replacement is due to an accident by an insured driver, insurance agencies become involved since the driver is typically responsible for the cost of repairs. This usually involves itemized quotes for their agency's approval, which also adds additional time.

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Several factors determine the specifications of a traffic signal including location of the base structure, existence and location of intersecting streets, number of lanes, type of lanes (left turn, right turn, straight/turn, etc.), etc. Therefore, each replacement pole is a custom build. This process is usually a 6-9 month lead time after the manufacturer receives the specifications. We source several vendors to manufacture these parts, and we've found this to be the standard regardless of the manufacturer. 

Once the structures are built, they are then sent for testing, inspection, and certification by TxDOT before they can be installed. The actual installation of the signal structure is usually a quick process. However, the materials' lead time is the substantial delaying factor. 

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