Ohio city councilor questions value of DOT fiber-optic cabling installation

The Ohio Department of Transportation will award a $1.3 million project next month to install new traffic signals and fiber optic cabling in the city of Monroe, Ohio.

Apr 17th, 2013

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will award a $1.3 million project next month to install new traffic signals and fiber-optic cabling in the city of Monroe, Ohio.

Deployed platforms include energy-efficient LED signals, pedestrian improvements, illuminated street name signs, and traffic-monitoring cameras at each intersection, which will be monitored through fiber-optic connections by the city at the public works department and city building. Other technology to be installed includes 3 pan-tilt-zoom cameras at Ohio 63/Interstate 75 highway interchange and the Ohio 63/Main Street intersection.

See also: Colorado DOT trailblazes new outdoor DAS, fiber routes

The project, known as the Signal Inter-Connect project, will connect nine traffic signals in the city and one outside the city limits with fiber-optic cables. Additional “dark fiber” cables will be installed for future economic development use and are proposed to be managed by the Monroe Area Community Improvement Corporation.

However, as reported by Ohio's Middletown Journal, one member of Monroe's city council felt that the city's $239,466 share of the state project could have been better spent.

“We have a lot of streets that need fixed; we have water mains that need to be fixed; we have staff that haven’t had a raise in I believe four years; and I don’t think that the fiber-optics should be a priority at this time,” said Monroe councilman Todd Hickman.

Related: The use of fiber optics in security and surveillance systems

“I just think there are a lot of things that could be done with $239,000 besides the fiber-optics,” said Monroe's Hickman.

ODOT will bid and manage the project designed to upgrade the traffic signals along Ohio 63 from Gateway Boulevard to Yankee Road. No general fund dollars will be spent on the project, Monroe city manager Bill Brock reportedly said. The city’s share would be mostly funded through tax increment financing funds.

“With the latest technology available, this traffic system upgrade will improve traffic operations through the (Ohio) 63 corridor in Monroe,” commented ODOT spokeswoman Sharon Smigielski.

Full story:Monroe to install new traffic signals, fiber optic cable (middletownjournal.com)

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