Springdale mulls battery back-ups for new traffic signals
Springdale officials want to make sure their soon-to-be-installed traffic signals continue operating during a power outage.
The borough received grants through PennDOT’s Green Light Go Program for traffic signals to be installed on Pittsburgh Street, at the intersections with Butler Street and Colfax Street.
Gordon Taylor, the borough engineer, was asked to inquire about the cost and feasibility of installing a battery backup system with the new lights.
Taylor estimated the cost at around $7,500 for each intersection.
Councilman Mike Ziencik and police Chief George Polnar discussed the advantages of having the backup system at this week’s council meeting.
Polnar said it’s something that he was familiar with from his time as Monroeville police chief. He said Monroeville installed similar traffic signals at intersections along the heavily traveled Route 22 corridor.
“The batteries give you enough time to have signals until you get a generator connected to it,” Polnar said.
He said, while it’s not a critical item, it’s something that improves safety during storms by keeping the lights running and traffic moving. It also avoids having repairmen working in the intersection to restore the lights during those times.
Ziencik said Harmar installed the backups, which include three batteries, at intersections along Freeport Road at the Hulton Bridge and Route 910.
“It’s a nice feature,” he said. “It’s a great feature to have.”
Taylor said he would obtain a firm price. If council finds the cost to be prohibitive at the present time, he said the backup system could be added in the future by placing an additional control box near the signal that would contain it.
Ziencik suggested that Taylor get a price not only on the backup but on a larger control box to house both the traffic signal controls and the backup system.
He said that way, even if council decides to wait to add the backup, when it finally happens it will be much easier to just house it in the same control box rather than incurring more costs for additional boxes and the labor to install them.
Taylor will report back to council in May.
Meanwhile, council approved a payment of about $20,000 to Thompson Electric, the successful bidder for the traffic light installation, to begin the work at the Pittsburgh and Colfax intersection.