Sensors installed, operational this weekend

Published 12:21 am Friday, January 9, 2009

Motorists tired of the congestion associated with traversing the intersection of U.S. Highway 11 and Mississippi Highway 43 North may see some relief after this weekend.

On Thursday, workers with Temple Incorporated installed wireless sensors in asphalt in the lanes at the intersection in an effort to help relieve traffic congestion.

Currently, heavy traffic at the intersection will back up vehicles for miles while motorists wait for their chance to continue on their trip to their destination.

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The work conducted Thursday by Temple employee Jeff Smith and his coworkers is designed to resolve the problem by enabling the traffic light to adjust to the changing traffic patterns during the day and night. Smith said the devices will send information with a 2.4 Gigahertz transmitter to a receiver mounted on one of the utility poles. That receiver will in turn be connected to the traffic light controller at the intersection.

Three transmitters will be placed in each of the through and turn lanes at the four entrances to the intersection of the two major city thoroughfares. A ten-year battery will power the devices.

“I don’t think the road will last 10 years but the sensor will,” Smith said.

Sometime this weekend a technician will be in town to program the sensors and hook the receiver to the traffic-light controller at the intersection.

“We hope by the end of the weekend you should be able to notice a real difference,” Smith said.

When the sensors pick up traffic parked over it a transmitter, that information will be sent to the receiver and passed on to the controller allowing it to adjust to the appropriate signal light, Smith said. Mississippi Department of Transportation Intern Engineer Suzanne Dees said in a previous interview that the sensors should make better use of the green light time to help reduce traffic congestion by applying that time to lanes with the most traffic at any given time.