September 2013

The Town of Lexington has seen tremendous growth since the turn of the century and our small town is now approaching 20,000 residents. With this fast-paced growth, we are faced with ongoing challenges to our ever growing traffic congestion. We are working diligently on several significant traffic projects help improve the flow of traffic and help reduce our vehicle congestion.

Town Council and I announced last month that we received an additional $2 million in COATS Guideshare Funding which we will add to the remaining $2.5million from the Unified Traffic Plan- Phase I for our next VisionLexington Project. These funds will be used to install and implement our Adaptive Computerized Signalization System.

This state-of-the art technology uses artificial intelligence to determine the best timing to turn the traffic signals green in reducing normal bottlenecks found with the standard preset, timed lights. The project will take up to 18 months and will include installing new decorative mast arms, providing an additional beautification amenity to the town. In partnership with Lexington County, we will be implementing the program on all 32 total traffic signals, including five intersections on the outskirts of town that will be impacted by the new technology. The computerized system has been implemented in more than 950 intersections in 26 states and has proven to bring multiple benefits such as a reduction in stops on the main corridors by up to 90%; reducing travel time up to 50%; and reducing fuel consumption and emission up to 30%. Another very important benefit to the motoring public is the reduction in traffic accidents (i.e. rear-end collisions) by up to 30%.

The Town is also seeing a transformation through our Unified Traffic Plan - Phase I. We are currently 35% complete and SCDOT is on track to have the project at W. Main St./Columbia Ave./Park Rd./W Butler St./Reed Ave. finished in the spring of 2014. When completed, you will see right turn lanes only with vastly expanded intersections. These two major traffic improvement projects happening in our town are a dream come true after decades of stagnant activity to our traffic needs.

Another beneficial project to the town's citizens is our Street Repairs Project, which will begin in the coming weeks. This project will provide much needed repairs and/or paving to some of the worst conditioned roads within our town. A prioritized list, based on a grading system, scope and timeline is available on our website.

Finally, the Town always tries to keep citizens informed about neighboring projects. For example, Central Midlands Council of Governments is encouraging the South Carolina Department of Transportation to add the Airport Connector project to its list of improvements. This project is out of Town limits but would impact our community by providing a direct link from I-26 to Columbia Metropolitan Airport through a 3.2 mile, four lane highway. This connector would have a direct impact on economic growth in the Midlands, creating much needed job opportunities for some of our town citizens.

As I am prone to say about these three improvement projects, it is just "good stuff" y'all! Our goal is to continue to enhance the wonderful quality of life we all enjoy here living and working in the Town of Lexington. These road improvement projects will provide continuing success in helping our community thrive for years to come.