Utility traffic counts eyed
by By RICK NORTON Associate Editor
Jun 09, 2014 | 2184 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
While Cleveland Utilities electric crews emerge from the cold of winter into the heat of summer to complete a plethora of project deadlines, teams dedicated to the city’s growing network of traffic signals are also pushing to stay ahead of traffic demand and growing roadway congestion.

Jimmy Isom, engineering manager within CU’s Electric Division, recently gave a series of updates to members of the Cleveland Board of Public Utilities.

Isom’s report came on behalf of Bart Borden, vice president of the Electric Division who could not attend the board gathering.

One briefing included CU’s completed traffic count at two key intersections: 20th Street and Michigan Avenue Road, and 20th Street and Old Tasso Road. Both counts were conducted at the request of the city of Cleveland to be used by a consultant to develop a feasibility study for placing a traffic signal at the junction formed by 20th Street and Michigan Avenue Road.

Another key update by Isom involved a cost estimate provided to Lee University.

“Cleveland Utilities has provided an estimate to Lee University and the city of Cleveland to upgrade the traffic signals at Ocoee Street and Central Avenue,” Isom said. “The request came from Lee University as part of their Communications Art building project on Church Street.”

Of the project under consideration, Isom added, “The existing traffic light strain poles would be replaced with black decorative mast-arm poles similar to the ones at Broad and Central, and would include pedestrian signals.”

He said the estimated cost to complete the project is $107,000. Although CU crews would complete the work if the project is approved, it would be paid by Lee University.

In other traffic-related reports by Isom:

n CU Traffic Signals Coordinator Tad Bacon attended two training sessions in April. The first was a Traffic Access Management class provided through the Tennessee Transportation Assistance Program. The TAM class teaches guidelines for the best location of driveway cuts onto major and minor streets, Isom said. “It emphasized limiting access to maintain proper traffic flows,” he noted. Bacon’s second training session was Tennessee’s annual ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems) meeting held in Chattanooga. Presentations included a look at current and future ITS projects in the state.

n CU is working with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to develop a proprietary products list for Cleveland’s use on future TDOT projects, Isom said. “The list will be good for three years and will assure that products Cleveland has approved and use on a daily basis are automatically specified on future TDOT projects in Cleveland and Bradley County.”

n CU has updated the dedicated server computer for the ITS/IQ Central System. “This was the original computer that came with the ITS system that we took over from the city,” Isom explained. “We were starting to have issues due to limited memory, speed and the older Windows XP operating system. This computer is used to communicate with all connected traffic controllers and will also provide communications with the new Opticom GPS preemption system.”

Isom also gave a series of reports on new and ongoing Electric Division projects.

Some included:

n Cherokee Construction has finished work on the exterior of the new District Substation building, including the roof sheeting and garage doors. The substation lot outside the fencing was hydro-seeded.

n Pointe General Contractors has completed its work on the Harrison building (storage) with the exception of heating and air installation. This work will be done once the electrical installations have been finished. CU crews are installing all electrical service and internal wiring.

n CU crews lowered two new primary poles along the north side of Benton Pike (as part of the Durkee Road and Benton Pike widening project) due to elevation changes, and then transfered several secondary and primary crossings to new AT&T poles on the south side of Benton Pike. This was the last of the relocation work required on the Benton Pike and Durkee Road project.

n CU is preparing documentation to acquire additional easements needed to move a 69KV line located just east of TVA’s 161KV line as a part of the utility relocation project at the new TDOT interchange at APD-40 and Stone Lake Road. The easements are needed to accommodate TVA having to move its line further east to satisfy the required clearances for the new interchange.

n Engineering has released the work order to install the electric conduit, primary and secondary conductor and pad-mounted transformers for the Weeks Drive townhome development. The residential development will consist of eight 4-unit townhomes. CU has finished installing the underground electrical conduit system; this will allow the developer to complete road work and paving.

n Two CU representatives from the Engineering and Operations Department recently visited Georgia Power to review the distribution automation system used by the larger utility. Georgia Power is using a new program developed by Advanced Control Systems, the same software company that developed the SCADA system currently used by CU. “This system got Cleveland Utilities’ attention due to its ease of operation, setup and affordable price,” Isom said. “The trip allowed engineering and operations to view the system in person and to get input from Georgia Power. Cleveland Utilities will strongly consider this product as we move toward implementing our own distribution automation system in the near future.”

n The CU Electric Division has increased the capabilities within its paperless work order system. Isom said employees from each department involved in the work order flow process worked together to develop ideas to better streamline the work order flow process. “The post-construction posting of the work orders was a major area identified as needing improvement,” he said. The review included bringing in an Adobe Acrobat consultant to develop a post-operations process that allows multiple users to access a work order prior to it being archived. “Previously, the process was linear and each user had to wait on the other to finish before their work could begin,” Isom stressed.

n Engineering released a work order for permanent service to the new Arby’s on Keith Street. All electrical facilities were updated to serve the new building. Crews will install approximately 100 feet of three-phase primary conductor and set a new 150 kVA pad-mounted transformer.

n Engineering released a work order to convert overhead primary facilities (power lines) to underground along Church Street from Central Avenue to 6th Street NE. The work is part of Lee University’s Communications Art building project. Work will include the removal of five power poles, 600 feet of overhead primary conductor and existing cobra head street lights. New underground facilities will include the installation of 660 feet of aluminum underground primary conductor, a self-supporting concrete pole and decorative street lighting. Lee University will install the underground conduit system and will pay for the installation of the new underground equipment.