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City of Dubuque to install smart traffic signals

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) - The City of Dubuque received a $1 million grant to improve their traffic signals.

The Smart Streets Project will provide real-time information for traffic lights and will allow them to adjust and accommodate for accidents and congestion.

Chandra Ravada, Director of Transportation for ECIA, said drivers will also be able to access this information from their smartphones and have alternative routes.

"For anyone who's coming into town, whether it's local, or out-of-town, or for leisure, anyone can get this information," said Ravada. "We want them to get this information, to follow this information and it will take you to your destination safely and in a timely manner."

Kelly Deutmeyer, Executive Director for ECIA, said Dubuque is the test-site for this program. If all goes well - their goal is to make the service available in other large cities in Iowa.

"With our community of about 60,000 being a smaller large-metro, we would have to see how this could be implemented to let's say Cedar Rapids or Iowa City which would then be expanded out and beyond," said Deutmeyer .

However, Ravada said that it is not only people that will see benefits. The traffic system also has positive environmental impacts.

"When you're stuck in traffic and you have long idle times, that's when a lot of gas and air particles come out," said Ravada. "So when you're trying to move traffic in an efficient way, that mean's you're also trying to lower the amount of tailpipe emissions and you're improving the air quality."

The traffic signals will first be installed on major roads like Highways 20, 151 and 61. They could eventually be added to city streets.

The first phase of the project is expected to cost $1.3 million and will be finished by late 2022.

Ashley Scott

Reporter, Dubuque

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