Dover expects to receive nearly $800k in grants to upgrade traffic flow
Union Leader Correspondent
September 15. 2018 11:54PM
(KIMBERLEY HAAS/Union Leader Correspondent)
City officials in Dover are tackling traffic congestion with the latest technology, thanks to two substantial grants they are set to receive.
- City officials in Dover are embracing technology and expect to receive nearly $800,000 in grant money to improve traffic management controls.
On Thursday night, City Manager Michael Joyal announced the Federal Highway Administration will be awarding the Garrison City $649,500 through the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to upgrade the technology used in 18 traffic signals.
The grant will also go toward improving highway efficiency by linking the NH DOT's Traffic Management Center in Concord with Dover's traffic control system. That will allow officials to divert vehicles onto the city's parallel street network during crashes on the Spaulding Turnpike.
Joyal said the city has also qualified for an additional $150,000 Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant from the NH DOT that will also be applied to improving traffic management controls.
Joyal said the city plans to focus its efforts on traffic along Central Avenue, Weeks Crossing, Durham Road and Silver Street, which is where most congestion occurs.
"The goal will be to have optimized smart-control coordination that allows the signal timing to change in response to real-time traffic flow," Joyal said.
Someday when motorists make a green light, they will be able to go through an entire busy corridor on green lights while maintaining a reasonable driving speed, Community Services Director John Storer explained.
"Part of the city's master plan is to embrace technology and innovation," Storer said. "I'm unaware of any other New Hampshire, or any other New England community, that is this far ahead."
Once the money has been finalized by Gov. Chris Sununu and the Executive Council, it will be brought before the City Council in Dover. The city is responsible for a 20 percent match for the two grants, or $159,900, which is already in the FY2019 operating budget.
Dover is also working with University of New Hampshire researchers who are looking for ways to improve safety with vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity technology. Radio and cellular devices are being tested on Silver Street this fall.
"We're trying to figure out what the next technology will be with traffic signals," Storer said.