, Tenn. – Major traffic-flow improvements are coming to heavily congested Wilma Rudolph Boulevard thanks to a nearly $1 million federal grant awarded to the City of Clarksville.
The Clarksville Street Department will use the money to design, purchase and implement an Adaptive Signal System on a 2.5-mile stretch of the boulevard from Alfred Thun Road north of Interstate 24 to the 101st Airborne Division Parkway. The project will use sensors and cameras to feed traffic data into a computerized traffic-flow control system, which will make real-time adjustments to signals to optimize traffic movements through the corridor.
The goal of the system is to reduce backups and wait times at the 10 signalized intersections along the thoroughfare, which in turn will improve air quality by cutting emissions and improve travel time reliability and safety.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation recently notified the City that its proposal for a Wilma Rudolph Boulevard Adaptive Signal System was selected for $995,400 of funding under the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program.
“This is great news for Clarksville,” Mayor Kim McMillan said. “Wilma Rudolph Boulevard, already seven lanes wide and lined with shopping malls and restaurants, is as wide as it can get, so we really needed this kind of technological solution to improve traffic flow. This million dollar grant, which requires no City matching funds, will go a long way to improve traffic flow in this important commercial district.”
City Traffic Engineer Chris Cowan says the project will unfold over the next two to three years. The first phase will involve bringing in engineering consultants familiar with traffic-flow technologies to study the corridor and plan the solution. Phases two and three will be design of the system, purchase of the equipment and then installation and programming of the sensors, cameras and other hardware and software.
“When complete, we expect this system will increase traffic flow by 20 to 30 percent, which will be a significant improvement for this high-density corridor,” Cowan said.
The City’s application for the grant notes that an adaptive signal system will have a positive impact on air quality by reducing emissions of pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. The system also will enable a better way to manage traffic when a major problem closes I-24 and requires detours through the city’s arterial streets.
Clarksville has received a $995,400 grant under the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program to install a computerized traffic signal system on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard from I-24 to the 101st Airborne Division Parkway.