After a weekend of erratic traffic signals that backed up cars traveling over Interstate 35, the new lights at intersections have now been fixed, transportation officials said.
The traffic signals, which are located where the I-35 frontage road meets West Adams and Central avenues as it goes across I-35, were turned on last week. The problems resulting from these blinking and sometimes operational lights have caused large backups going both directions, motorists said.
According to Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Ken Roberts, the reason for the problems was due to the lights not yet being correctly calibrated.
Roberts explained that when a new traffic signal is installed, it takes time to adjust before it works perfectly.
“We should have it resolved and worked out (today),” he said. “Often times when we install lights, initially they go through a full cycle of flashes. When they go into full operation it is necessary for us to monitor that and get it adjusted to the traffic.”
Work crews from TxDOT went out to the intersections Monday to directly connect to the traffic signal boxes to update the light patterns. Before the changes made on the lights, some motorists on West Adams were seeing waits of around 20 minutes to cross the interstate.
“Traffic (is) backed up for blocks going east, (and is) not much better turning off 31st to head west,” motorist Mark Erskine said. “Peak times are not good, lights are not in synch or timed correctly, and east-west (travel time) should be longer than the access roads.”
Roberts reported that by 2:50 p.m. Monday the department had successfully recalibrated the lights. Roberts said that this fix should be the only one needed, but that TxDOT will still be observing the signals.
“Signal timing is about balancing delay,” Roberts said. “The heavier volume approaches will get 60 to 70 percent of the green time and the remaining is for the low volume approaches. Adjustments have been made and we’ll continue to monitor traffic flow as necessary.”