The outlier of 2020 aside, summer is accompanied by sunshine, playful shrieks of children on the playground and a sea of orange cones seemingly on every major thoroughfare.
Summer is the busy season for public-works projects, a necessary inconvenience we trade for modern infrastructure. Last month, I mentioned the 2020 Street & Infrastructure Improvement Program and how the property-tax levy renewal is critical to maintaining the high-quality services our residents know, expect and appreciate.
The signal interconnect project is a great example of one of these strategic infrastructure investments.
In August, contractors started running fiber lines on First and Grandview avenues and Goodale and Northwest boulevards for a new traffic signal interconnect. As the region grows and changes, our staff works with the city engineer to identify infrastructure improvements needed to accommodate the increased capacity and opportunities to leverage new traffic-control technology.
Currently, each traffic signal has an individual computer to handle timing and operations.
By constructing a fiber network to connect each signal, those individual computers will be connected to one central system that can be accessed remotely to monitor timing and operations. Reliance on observations to know when a signal is out will no longer be necessary as the new interconnect will alert the service department to any issues and identify the cause of the issue for a quicker, more efficient repair.
Additionally, signal timing can be changed and evaluated from a single workstation rather than by engineers traveling to each signal cabinet.
Traffic engineers will be able to more easily analyze and change traffic patterns and timing as needed by pulling cohesive data from the central system.
Through careful planning, the city was able to leverage operational funds to match a federal grant opportunity to cover the cost of this project.
As your mayor, I am particularly excited about the opportunity to customize the timing and quickly adapt to changing needs.
The improvement will bring connectivity beyond Grandview Heights. Through the new system, our signals will be accessible through the same program the city of Columbus uses.
The partnership and coordination between communities will continue to be a theme in my administration. Given that Grandview Heights is nearly surrounded by Columbus, engineers from Grandview Heights and Columbus can review timing data to ensure easy movement does not stop at the corporation line.
The interconnect project is expected to be completed in early winter.
From the annual street-improvement program and sidewalk repair to enhancements of our sewer system, the city continuously finds new ways to modernize service delivery. Infrastructure improvements like the interconnect project are seldom discussed in great detail but are crucial to maintaining the services we provide as a full-service community and desirable destination.
I look forward to sharing with you more ways the property-tax levy renewal is key to the success of Grandview Heights next month so stay tuned for more information.
Greta Kearns is mayor of Grandview Heights.