LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) — More people moving to Wilson County also means more traffic. However, instead of building more lanes, the city of Lebanon is utilizing technology to improve its roads.
“You may look at a road or a street and think, ‘Okay, we need more roads, need more lanes,’ and that’s not always the answer,” said Lebanon Mayor Rick Bell.
The answer for the city of Lebanon lies inside the brand-new traffic management center.
“This is the foundation for our traffic signal system. We’ve never had anything like this here in Lebanon,” said Kristen Rice, Lebanon Engineering Director for Capital Projects and Traffic.
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Nearly a dozen cameras and over 20 traffic signals are programmed into the system that technicians can see in real-time.
“Obviously, at different times of the day, traffic is different, and this is a way that somebody can sit in this room, watch the traffic flow, and really adjust the lights on a real-time basis to make the traffic flow smoother,” said Bell.
Before the new system, technicians would respond in the field to change all stoplight times and fix any issues, such as when power is lost at an intersection.
“It’s a 24/7, 365 day a year job. We always have someone on call that can respond,” Rice said.
According to Bell, the system will assist on a day-to-day basis, as well as during emergencies and special events. For example, the Wilson County Fair starts Thursday, Aug. 17, so the system will help get people in and out more efficiently.
Lebanon’s mayor called the system a game changer, whether you live downtown, in the outskirts, or are just passing through.
“One of the things I hear a lot from people is that ‘Hey, it takes me forever to get across town.’ This system will make that commute not last as long,” Bell said.
So far, the city has completed phase one of the project. The project costs around $3.5 million and is funded through a federal grant.
The second phase is expected to begin next year, where Lebanon will loop in additional traffic signals and cameras throughout the city.