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Roads to get brighter traffic signals

LAWRENCEVILLE - In Gwinnett these days, even the traffic signals are getting an upgrade.

As part of a new Georgia Department of Transportation plan, the county's major roadways will be controlled by brighter signals.

The department approved two contracts last week to upgrade the signals and make other intersection improvements along Pleasant Hill Road and Jimmy Carter Boulevard.

DOT spokeswoman Teri Pope said T.D.C. Systems Integration Inc. won both contracts with low bids of $1.97 million for Jimmy Carter and $1.84 million for Pleasant Hill.

Eight more corridors are on track for upgrades in the future: Holcomb Bridge Road, Ga. Highway 120, U.S. Highway 29, West Park Place, Satellite Boulevard, Ga. Highway 378/Beaver Ruin Road, Ga. Highway 141 and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

Pope said the new signals use Light Emitting Diode, or LED, technology instead of the standard bulb.

LEDs last up to 10,000 hours and can be seen from farther away, Pope said.

"It's a new technology that is safer and saves us time and money," she said. "It's amazing the difference it does make."

Pope said the standard bulb is being phased out across the state. While Gwinnett County maintains the traffic signals on state highways, the state is paying for the new technology, which also includes new fiber optic cables to connect the lights.

The connections allow greater flexibility in programming the signals based on times of day and traffic patterns.

The intersections will also be upgraded to Americans with Disabilities Act standards, which means cross-walks and signals will be placed on every side of the road, she said.

The Pleasant Hill upgrades encompass 14 intersections from Mary Street to Steve Reynolds Boulevard and one intersection just off Pleasant Hill.

To the west, Jimmy Carter will be improved from Britt Road to North Norcross-Tucker Road, including 13 intersections on the road and two others nearby.