By Elise Franco
New traffic signals will give Canfield safety forces the ability to stop traffic in all directions during an emergency call.
Canfield secured a $550,000 grant through the Ohio Department of Transportation and Eastgate Regional Council of Governments to replace and update traffic and pedestrian signals at the city’s five intersections.
Joe Warino, city manager, said the project will replace two signals at U.S. Route 224 and state Route 46, as well as signals at 224 and Hillside Road, 224 and Cardinal Drive; and state Route 62 and Wadsworth Road.
Warino said each of the new signals will have LED lighting, making them more energy efficient, and the pedestrian signals will have sound detection.
“The signals are brighter and more energy efficient,” he said. “You can see these types of upgrades popping up all over the place.” Brent Kovacs, spokesman for ODOT, said the project is slated to begin in 2014, and will bring Canfield up to date with the latest technology available.
“Any time we do a signal project we’re going to update it to the newest equipment,” he said.
Warino said two intersections — 224 at 46 and 224 at Cardinal — will have a monitoring and control system that allows police or fire personnel to change the signal remotely.
“During a traffic backup, such as coming out of a football game, officers can control the signal to allow more time for a green light,” he said. “This allows traffic to flow and avoids jams.”
Kovacs said ODOT maintains 75 traffic signals in Mahoning County, and these two in Canfield will be the first to have this type of remote equipment.
Warino said the remote system also will help police and fire crews respond to calls more quickly and safely than before. In the past two years, the Cardinal Joint Fire District was involved in two crashes because a car didn’t stop or slow down for a truck sounding its siren, he said.
“They can trigger the signal to go into a red mode in all directions,” he said. “Dealing with an accident or a delay during a call could be a matter of whether or not a life is saved.”