A much-needed traffic light will cost considerably more than expected, according to City of Marysville officials.
Finance Director Justin Nahvi told the city’s finance committee Thursday night that there’s $175,000 budgeted to put a traffic light at the intersection of Colemans Crossing Boulevard, East Fifth Street and Charles Lane. The project is getting ready to go to bid, and Nahvi said Public Services Director Mike Andrako expects the cost to increase by about $80,000.
That cost is to install electricity and fiber optics to the traffic signal. Nahvi said there’s enough approved cash available to cover that cost.
City Manager Terry Emery said the city is looking to run fiber to all 27 traffic signals in the city. That fiber will help with data collection as smart mobility becomes more prominent in the area.
“It’s going to be a huge benefit,” Emery said. “We definitely need this.”
Committee member Mark Reams expressed concern at the increase in cost for the light.
“That’s an extra 50 percent just about,” he said. “At what point should maybe we think about a traffic circle?”
Emery said a few years ago he noted that intersection as a prime spot for a roundabout.
“It appeared we had the space to place a roundabout in there,” he said.
Officials eventually decided a roundabout would not fit what the city needed.
The city needs to create gaps along Colemans Crossing, Emery said. Right now, vehicles pulling out of Wal-Mart or Honda have a hard time finding opportunities to pull out.
“We’re not getting gaps in traffic,” he said. “A roundabout would not lend to creating gaps because of the flow of traffic.”
Emery said another drawback is cost. While a roundabout has considerably lower maintenance requirements, it’s initial cost is much higher than a traffic signal.
Emery also said the lights at the YMCA and Delaware Avenue can be timed so that motorists turning onto Colemans Crossing will reliably have a green light. That way, traffic shouldn’t get backed up to Delaware Avenue.
“(Andrako) has the ability to time up with the traffic that’s turning left onto Colemans Crossing,” Emery said. “I’m telling you, he would do a roundabout if he felt like it was the best scenario at that particular location.”
Reams said the city should make sure they don’t get into a situation where they create more problems than they fix. He said there’s traffic simulations available to gauge how well a roundabout might work in that area.
“We should be able to see the difference,” Reams said.
The committee accepted the request to be sent to city council. Emery said he’d have Andrako come to a council meeting when the legislation came up to explain in more detail why a traffic signal is the better choice.
“Then if there’s still need for discussion, we’ll do it,” Emery said.
...For the full story, select an option below.