By Tara Kwan
The City of Monterey Park formally awarded the public works contract in the amount of $367,208.00 to synchronize traffic signals for a major scection of North Atlantic Boulevard stretching from Hellman Avenue south to Newmark Avenue.
The raffic signal synchronization project was awarded to Comet Electric at the city council meeting on Wednesday, September 20th.
The city council unanimously voted to approve the contract with the exception of council member Mitchell Ing who was not present at the meeting. This project has pre-approved funding of $422,289.00 from local Measure R tax funds.
The cost of the project will be reimbursed by Metro at a later time period. Metro is currently working on the funding agreement between the city and itself which should be completed in early October.
Construction change orders and contingency of up to $55,081.00 or up to 15% of the contract project has been approved.
This project will upgrade a total of (7) traffic signal lights on North Atlantic Boulevard, from Hellman Avenue to Newmark Avenue; Atlantic on Hellman ; Atlantic on the Atlantic Times Square driveway; Atlantic on Emerson; Atlantic on Mar Center/Ralphs; Atlantic on Garvey; Atlantic on Newmark; and the shopping center signal at the Atlantic Driveway on Hellman Avenue.
Essentially, the traffic signals will undergo modifications to be wirelessly connected to one another, have countdown pedestrian heads, and high-visibility crosswalks. The traffic light on Atlantic Times Square driveway at Hellman will only have the wireless interconnection upgrade. There will be additional modifications at specific traffic lights. The northbound right turn lane will be restriped at the Atlantic on Hellman traffic light. The Atlantic on Atlantic Times Square driveway traffic light will have a vehicle detection system installed. The Atlantic on Emerson traffic light will have a new northbound right turn lane and a protected permissive left turn phase will be installed. The Atlantic on Mar Center/Ralphs traffic light will also have a protected left turn phase installed. The Atlantic on Garvey traffic light will have its northbound and southbound striping adjusted and a new video detection system.
The wireless connection technology is more cost effective than the older, hard wire system and it allows the traffic signals to synchronize with one another. The signals would sequence to keep the traffic flowing north and south bound. However, this could possibly lead to slightly longer wait times at traffic lights for motorists waiting to get onto Atlantic from Emerson or Hellman.
The crosswalks will be repainted with special paint containing reflective thermoplastic beads that is thicker and longer lasting compared to regular paint. This will make the crosswalks more visible and safer for pedestrians.
Comet Electric, the company tasked to undertake this project, was founded in 1976 and has been in the transportation industry since the early 1990s. The company has completed projects in the Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties so it is familiar with city standards. Tim Erno, vice president of transportation, estimates that the project will be started and completed in January of 2018.