The mission of the Traffic Operations division is to continually improve the mobility of the traveling public and pedestrians in our community in a way that increases safety for all citizens. Traffic Operations does that by maintaining 118 signalized intersections, 13,880 street signs and 95 miles of pavement markings. Its core functions include:
- Signal timing and phasing improvements
- Installation and replacement of LED bulbs at all signalized intersections
- Installation and replacement of video detection systems
- Installation, inspection and oversight of new signals
- Repair and maintenance of damaged signals
- Installation, maintenance and repair of school zone, flood warning and pedestrian flashing beacons
- Traffic signal warrant studies
- Traffic speed studies
- Average daily traffic (ADT) studies
- Speed hump studies (Contact Engineering Services for application)
- Coordination of emergency service vehicle detection and preemption
- Installation, repair, and GIS data collection of all signs
- In-house sign design
- Installation and maintenance of pavement markings
- Adopt-A-Spot signs
- Installation and maintenance of crosswalks
- Speed hump installation
- On-street parking, signs and markings
- Red fire hydrant curb markings
Bell Street signals
- Scheduled completion date of January 2020
- Intersection of Bell and Harris streets
- Intersection of Bell Street and Rio Concho Drive
What goes into replacing a traffic signal?
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.
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.
Speed limits on Bell St. lowered for construction
Speed limits on Bell Street have been reduced to 25 mph in construction zones to ensure workers’ and motorists’ safety as the roadway is being rebuilt.
The contractor on the $22 million reconstruction of Bell Street, Reece Albert of San Angelo, is installing signs notifying drivers of the change. Existing signs noting the normal speed limit of 40 mph on the thoroughfare will be removed or covered until the project is complete.
The work, which is expected to span four years, involves removing, replacing and relocating water and sewer lines at a cost of approximately $12 million. The remaining $10 million will be spent rebuilding the roadway from the base up. Its new driving surface will be concrete, which is more durable and requires less maintenance and fewer repairs than asphalt.
The roadwork is scheduled to occur in the following phases:
- August 2019 to May 2020 – U.S. Highway 67 to Harris Street.
- May 2020 to March 2021 – Harris Street to the Concho River.
The work to replace utility lines in the first phase began on Bell Street’s far north end earlier this year.