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Roads in Action; Traffic Signal Battery Backup

Last modified: 3/6/2012 2:47 PM

Traffic signals do a great job of directing motorists, cyclists and pedestrians through intersections, automatically 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, without requiring much more than some periodic maintenance and electricity. When the power is interrupted, these reliable traffic sentries can’t do their jobs.

Although drivers are required to treat an intersection with an inoperative signal as an all-way stop controlled intersection, installing a battery back-up system for each signal is the ultimate safeguard against power outages. After successfully implementing a pilot project to provide battery back-up at 15 intersections, Traffic & Electrical Operations obtained a grant from the California Energy Commission to fund installation of battery back-up systems for an additional 103 expressway and County road signals. The systems are being procured through GSA Procurement and installed by TEO forces.

The systems can power full operation of a traffic signal for at least four hours and are automatically kept charged when not in use. The project is anticipated to be complete by the end of August 2003. Additional grants will be pursued to complete all remaining signalized intersections on the County road system.