The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Union County

April 8, 2014

'Smart' traffic signals coming to Route 15

LEWISBURG — Smart red lights at three intersections on Route 15 near Lewisburg are happening under a $325,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s District 3, which secured the funding with Union County’s needs in mind.

East Buffalo Township supervisors approved submitting applications for the adaptive traffic signals at their meeting Monday night. The township signed off on two lights, at intersections of Routes 15 and 45 and at Routes 15 and 192.

Township manager Stacey Kifolo told the panel the resolutions — and subsequent paperwork — tell PennDOT the township understands its role in ownership and maintenance of the “adaptive signal technology” signals, which use video cameras and computer software to “see” traffic, how it’s cueing or backing up and which direction of traffic needs to move next.

Lewisburg Borough Council must take the same measures, likely at its meeting next Tuesday. The borough also must approve submitting an application for the red light at Route 15 and St. Mary Street.

The funding came through an “adjustive corridor project” in which PennDOT is distributing $11 million statewide for such signals to alleviate traffic congestion on roads such as Route 15, Kifolo said.

Union County has wanted the higher technology signals to improve traffic flow at the intersections and has applied for funding through the state’s Automated Red Light Enforcement Transportation Grant. However, such funding usually goes to more urban areas.

Other communities that use the system have seen 50 percent to 100 percent improvement in traffic flow efficiency.

Engineers involved with the Route 15 Corridor Project determined older signals that can’t keep up with the traffic conditions of the day have made for significant congestion at the three intersections. This also has made for traffic volume increases on the cross streets.

In other business at the meeting:

n Supervisors approved a 90-day extension for Pennsylvania House Commons developer J.C. Bar Properties Inc. and project owner Meridian Development Partners to file the necessary paperwork for the project to begin. Planning and zoning director Ralph Hess told supervisors the needed documentation covers financial obligations, stormwater management plans and an easement from the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail. Hess said such extensions are normal and this should not interfere with an expected late spring ground-breaking of the long-awaited retail and recreation center.

n Supervisors also approved final land development plans for a 14,347-square-foot student dining facility and activities complex on the Bucknell University Commons property, near the intersection of River Road and Seventh Street. Four four-story apartment buildings for students already are under construction.

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