Almanac

News - February 27, 2013

El Camino traffic lights synchronized again

by Sandy Brundage

Good news at last: The traffic lights along El Camino Real in Menlo Park are back in sync.

"The signals are almost completely back online for the adaptive system," said Chip Taylor, the city's public works director. "There are a few more items to work out, which should be corrected over the next few weeks. It is flowing much better."

Caltrans confirmed the repairs are just about done. "The contractor should be finished connecting everything by next week if nothing prevents them from finishing," said agency spokeswoman Gidget Navarro on Friday, Feb. 22.

The traffic snarls began five months ago when a crew working repaving portions of El Camino Real near Santa Cruz Avenue accidentally cut the electrical lines powering the signal synchronization system in October.

Caltrans initially projected that the lights would be back to normal by mid-November. Freezing weather delayed the project's completion, according to agency representatives.

After restriping the road, work crews had to reconnect the 16 traffic-sensing control loops on each side of El Camino Real to allow the system to start adapting signal timing to the amount of traffic flow again.

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