A collaborative project began this week that will link traffic signals in Moscow as part of a model Intelligent Transportation System initiative.
Power Engineers Inc. of Lakewood, Colo., is installing about 2.5 miles of underground electrical conduit and fiber optic communication cable that will link the city's traffic signals. The new conduit will tie into conduit placed under downtown intersections last year as part of the Washington Street improvement project from Eighth Street to First Street.
The project will enable signals to be electronically controlled and timed to reduce congestion and significantly improve traffic flow throughout the city. The University of Idaho's Transportation Center will also be connected to the system for collecting data and observing system functions in a laboratory simulation environment.
Benefits will extend beyond traffic control and timing, however. "This project will provide high speed fiber optic communication capabilities to a number of public and private entities," explains ITD's project coordinator Ted Sharpe.
"The network will link all city of Moscow and Moscow School District facilities with broadband Internet, and will also service Gritman Medical Center, Northwest River Supply and Alturas Technology Park, which currently serves six businesses and potentially eight others in the future."
ITD committed $1.3 million to the signal improvement project. The city received an additional $500,000 federal grant to extend the network in a loop east from the intersection of U.S. 95 and Idaho 8, along Mountain View Road to Eighth Street and back to U.S. 95. The added three-mile loop also will be a design-build project by Power Engineers and will be completed concurrently with the ITD project.
Most of the conduit will be placed by a "dry boring" method to minimize damage to roadways and sidewalks, Sharpe explained.
Work will be completed in phases, beginning in downtown Moscow and primarily affecting U.S. 95 and Idaho 8.