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Omaha’s Smart Roads program will help drivers in rush hour

Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 4:52 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The City of Omaha is creating “smart roads” at some intersections.

Traffic lights are being synchronized to work together and reduce the stop and go traffic many of us experience.

“It is going to make traveling around Omaha a lot easier because they’re going to talk to each other and that trip down Dodge Street that a lot of people make every morning from west to east it’s going to be a lot easier in the future,” says Mayor Jean Stothert.

Existing traffic signal cabinets will be replaced with a larger cabinet full of computerized traffic signal controllers. More reliable technology replaces current sensors at intersections.

New software called MAXTIME allows for an entire network of traffic signals to be monitored and coordinated with other intersections.

Stothert says, “right now if you were going from the west to east and you get out at 90th and Dodge and somebody hits the crosswalk signal, it throws the whole thing off for the whole morning. So what’s going to happen now is the crosswalk signal is hit and it slows down there. It’s going to talk to the next signal and the next signal and the next signal and it’s going to be smooth sailing.”

It’s all connected by a fiber network. This adaptive signal control technology is now in use on Dodge Street and three other areas.

The city engineer says there are some tweaks but early results are encouraging.

Mayor Stothert says backups at 90th and Dodge will be a thing of the past.

The project is part of the city’s comprehensive traffic plan. Drivers are hopeful rush hours woes are lessened.

The three other areas where the system is installed are at 84th and West Center, South 132nd Street, and South 144th Street.

The bulk of the funding comes from the Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program.

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