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Signal project to ease Alameda traffic

West Side commuters fed up with how congested Alameda has become are in for a little relief this summer.

The Bernalillo County Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to award a $376,000 contract to MWI Inc. for Phase 2 of the Alameda adaptive signal project, which aims to mitigate excessive delays along the corridor. The project is scheduled to be completed in August.

Alameda from Coors Bypass to San Pedro is the most congested corridor in the metro area, according to an analysis recently released by the Mid-Region Metropolitan Planning Organization. The ranking is based on 2014 data – the most recent available – tracking peak hour traffic volume, average peak hour travel speed, and crashes.

Adaptive traffic control signal systems adjust signal timing based on traffic conditions, alleviating backups as they occur. The system is able to modify such things as cycle lengths and phase sequence in response to fluctuations in traffic conditions.

In Phase 2, MWI will install an adaptive traffic control signal system on Alameda between Loretta Drive and Cottonwood Drive, completing the corridor from Coors Bypass to Second Street. This phase will add four new intersections to the existing system.

Phase 1 installed the adaptive traffic signal system between Loretta Drive and Second Street and was completed in 2013.

“This project will help manage traffic flows and shave minutes off travel times on Alameda, which is one of the busiest corridors in Bernalillo County,” County Manager Julie Morgas Baca told commissioners in a staff analysis of the project. “Phase 1 implementation has documented reduced travel times of at least 20 percent in the morning and afternoon peak periods.”

County staff warned that if Phase 2 were not completed, traffic congestion would worsen at Alameda and Coors.

MWI was one of two companies bidding on the project.

The Federal National Highway Preservation Program is providing $321,500 for the project, with the remaining $54,800 coming from the state Department of Transportation.