The polar vortex is taking no prisoners and that includes our traffic signal fiber optic line that interconnects our traffic signals on SR 59.
The City’s Traffic Engineer reports that we have lost communication contact though our traffic signal fiber optic line serving SR59 and as a result we cannot use the central computer system to access and run the signal controllers between Haymaker/Erie and E. Main/Horning.
No inter-connect access means that the City can’t use the computer system to optimize traffic flow, adjust cycle lengths, change coordination plans, or maintain internal clock times at these intersections which consequently kicks the affected controllers into their default mode — which is the old timing and offsets that were manually set prior to the signal upgrade project.
The Traffic Engineer brought in a telecommunications service repair team to see if they trace the approximate location of the problem. Their trace narrowed down the location of the problem within a 120′ stretch along Depeyster Street.
Since the repair company was only able to narrow the problem area down to 120′, they felt that the fiber may actually still be intact but attenuated — which means any water that may be in the pipe has frozen and is pressuring the fiber which is affecting its ability to pass light.
Of course the other option could be that the frozen water has broken the fiber but I like the first prognosis much better.
At this point, we’ll have to wait for warmer weather to be able to get in and open the fiber optic pull boxes to see if we can find the exact cause. Any fiber work in this weather will only create more problems.
Until then, we’ll program the controllers the old fashion way, box by box, and try to keep traffic running as smooth as possible.
I haven’t seen a significant impact in driving through this corridor but at the busy times of the day it could be more noticeable.
Please be careful driving through the SR59 corridor as we deal with the lingering effects of the infamous Polar Vortex (which is getting on my last nerve).