DOT to Install New Signal Lights, Fiber Optic Cables

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Alaska Department of Transportation has been working to upgrade all the signal lights around town, but the fixtures aren't the only new feature DOT is working on. They are also installing fiber optic cables, which will allow all the traffic signals around town to be connected to each other, as well as the Traffic Operations Center.

Caitlin Frye, with DOT, says they are installing the cables during projects that are already in progress to avoid having to continuously tear up the roads. She explains how this system will be more efficient.

"The Traffic Operations Center will allow us to look at problems from our office here and address them remotely through computers to fix any problems," she said.

Frye says the old signal system requires workers to drive to the intersection to fix any problems that may arise. She says they hope to have everything operational within the next five years. Another thing drivers may encounter are dark lights. When all the lights in the intersection are down, Frye explains what can cause this to happen.

"Typically that happens because of a power outage, and if you do encounter that situation, then those intersections should be treated as an all way stop," she said.

Frye went on to say, if the lights are flashing red they should be treated as an all way stop as well. And if they are flashing yellow, drivers should slow down and only proceed if the intersection is clear.

Frye also gave an update on University Avenue saying the goal is to have the road open next week, but says it will be open before the end of October.