DeKalb reaches second phase of stoplight plan

By Linda Liang

The DeKalb city engineering department is in the second phase of installing 23 synchronizing devices into stoplight controllers.

The project focuses on setting new controllers to shorten red light period depending on traffic condition, said City Traffic Engineer Ralph Thompkins.

Currently, city crews are installing the controllers in 11 intersections on Route 23 from Taylor Street on the south side of DeKalb to Edgebrook Drive on the north side of the city. Thompkins said the installation will be completed in late spring.

“There is no physical change, but only in the cabinet controllers, those orange boxes” on the stoplights, Thompkins said.

A magnetic device is placed under the pavement as a sensor, which transmits signals to a master computer controller, Thompkins said. The sensors tell information about the number of vehicles passing through, he said.

Last year, the city installed traffic controllers on the intersections of First and Seventh streets and Lincoln Highway, Thompkins said.

The main purpose of this project is to control traffic signals to turn red, yellow or green, Thompkins said.

An estimated $187,000 from the Illinois Transportation Agency funded the entire project, Thompkins said.