Lightning strikes to a traffic control signal box at state Route 256 and Refugee Road recently destroyed a key piece of infrastructure maintenance equipment, city officials said.

Lightning strikes to a traffic control signal box at state Route 256 and Refugee Road recently destroyed a key piece of infrastructure maintenance equipment, city officials said.

It could cost the city of Pickerington $60,000 to repair.

On the morning of Aug. 9, a control box that systematically moves traffic through the Route 256-Refugee Road intersection was struck by lightning multiple times.

As a result, the box was destroyed, as was the system for controlling all traffic signals on Route 256, the city's most-traveled roadway.

"Repairs are ongoing," City Engineer Greg Bachman said.

"It will be about two weeks to get a new controller and then another week or two to completely install it," he said.

"This is the master controller for all of the city's traffic signals on (Route) 256, including our traffic signal interconnection system."

Bachman said the lightning strikes damaged the traffic signal control box, its electric meter, the signal pre-emption equipment the Violet Township Fire Department uses when it needs to get through an intersection for emergency purposes and the traffic signal interconnect communication.

It also destroyed two city camera detection units.

Following the strikes, the signal at the intersection was operated in flash mode for approximately five hours.

"The signal has been working since then, but not with all the 'bells and whistles,' " Bachman said.

"For instance, we just got all the traffic loop detectors back operational in a responsive mode, rather than on set times," he said.

"This is obviously a key intersection in our signal system," Bachman said.

"The repairs (and) replacement will restore the signal to how responsive it was before the lightning strike."