Minneapolis Public Works Engineers To Adjust Traffic Signals In Real-Time During Downtown Construction

June 08, 2018 11:22 PM

As of 10 p.m. Friday night, much of downtown Minneapolis went under construction.

That means drivers can expect to see plenty of break lights around town. But thanks to some dedicated traffic engineers, they can expect to see some longer-than-usual green lights mixed-in too.


"There's 810 traffic signals in the city of Minneapolis, and we run and operate all of them out of (one) building," engineer Allan Klugman said.

RELATED: Downtown Detours: Major Closures Coming to I-35W, I-94 Starting This Weekend 

Klugman explained how the system worked inside the city's traffic management center, which is covered in screens showing the city's intersections in real-time.

"This is kind of our first line of defense," Klugman said. "We watch these from the office and if need be we send personnel to the field to help correct anything that's happening."

"So for example," he continued, "with the closures, we anticipate that a lot more vehicles will come in from the freeway to Third Street, so we're providing more green time in that direction to accommodate those vehicle flows."

RELATED: Track Your Commute Using the KSTP Traffic Map

In other words, personnel monitor the intersections and if traffic backs up in a specific area, they manually adjust nearby traffic signals accordingly. It's something the city of Minneapolis has done for years, mostly during periods of construction. However, the city also used this system during the Super Bowl. 

"That was a major traffic management effort just by itself," Klugman says now.

He cautioned that downtown drivers will still have to be patient over these next few months, but added there will be an eye-in-the-sky giving you the green light as often as possible.


Josh Rosenthal

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