Mayor Chris Beutler announced today that state and federal agencies have approved a $2 million project to deploy Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT) and upgrade fiber communication along a five-mile stretch of N. 27th Street. The technology will allow for rapid adjustments in the timing of traffic signals to ensure safer and more efficient traffic flow along N 27th from "O" Street to the Interstate 80 north ramp.
"Establishing the City's first ASCT corridor is a significant accomplishment for our community," Mayor Beutler said. "This section of N. 27th Street averages 30,000 to 40,000 cars a day and includes 17 traffic signals. This state of the art technology will result in motorists spending less time at red lights. More importantly, this ASCT project will improve overall safety."
Over the last three-year period of 2010 through 2012, there were 1,148 traffic crashes in this corridor, costing the community an estimated $73 million. If crashes decrease by 10 percent annually over 10 years, the benefit/cost ratio of the $2 million project would be 17 to 1. The Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program will pay 90 percent of the project cost. The Mayor thanked the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for approving funding for the project.
The project is scheduled to be completed by August 2014. Construction will require limited lane closures with little interruption to traffic and access. The FHWA and NDOR also have approved three ASCT projects for the City of Omaha.
Miki Esposito, Director of the Public Works and Utilities Department, said the busy corridor serves as a detour when I-80 traffic is diverted. It also sees increased traffic for special events such as UNL football and basketball home games. The traffic signals now use static coordination plans on a time-of-day schedule.
"The limitations of existing signal equipment and software, manpower and fiscal resources make it a challenge to rapidly adapt to increased traffic," Esposito said. "The ASCT project will provide us with a new tool to address changing demand and concerns about congestion and safety."
The Mid-America Transportation Center (MATC) at UNL had previously identified N. 27th Street as its Arterial Roadway Test Bed (ARTB). Mayor Beutler said ASCT project will give the City an opportunity to partner with UNL on a performance-based evaluation of the corridor in collaboration with NDOR and FHWA. The research and analysis for the ASCT corridor will be prepared and reported by UNL-MATC as a part of its ARTB.