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Clifton Park upgrades traffic light power

Clifton Park upgrades traffic light power

Electrical switches will maintain energy to 10 traffic lights in the event of power outages
Clifton Park upgrades traffic light power
Photographer: Shutterstock

Clifton Park has installed electrical switches that will maintain power to traffic light lines in the event of power outages.

The town purchased 10 switches and 10 portable generators that have been attached to traffic lights at busy intersections throughout town.

The town unanimously approved the purchase of the materials at a board meeting in December.

The switches allow the traffic signals to be safely disconnected from the power grid in the event of an outage. Doing so allows them to be temporarily connected to the portable generators, which would be rolled out in emergencies to restore order to busy intersections.

All traffic signal lights in town now have the electrical transfer switch with the exception of three due to road construction beginning this spring.

The newest switches were installed at the light on Carlton Road; the Clifton Country Road and Clifton Park Center Road intersection; Clifton Country Road; the Clifton Park Center Road and Moe Road intersection; the Crescent Road/Vischer Ferry Road and Lapp Road intersection; the Grooms Road and Lapp Road intersection; the Grooms Road and Moe Road intersection; the Grooms Road and Woodin Road intersection; the Kinns Road and Plank Road intersection; and the Maxwell Road and Park Avenue intersection.

The town spent $7,200 to purchase the switches from CDE Electric Inc., based out of Cairo, N.Y. The generators were $8,450 and were purchased from Sportline Power Products in Queensbury.

The generators were used as recently as October in Clifton Park, when a power outage left more than 7,000 National Grid customers without power.

The concept of portable generators was brought to Clifton Park in the early 2000s, when a bad storm knocked out power throughout the town, leaving signal lights dark, said Clifton Park Town Supervisor Phil Barrett in October.

“I remember approaching the traffic light at Route 146 and Clifton Country Road in the aftermath of the summer storm and witnessing the problems created by the inoperable traffic lights. It was a situation that needed to be addressed,” Barrett said.
 
The town partnered with the state Department of Transportation to rewire several traffic lights on state roads within the town. 

Town security officers are responsible for delivering the generators to affected intersections. Depending on how bad the outage is, the generators can be in place for hours or days, and the town's security officers are also responsible for maintaining the generators during lengthier deployments.

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