Solar Traffic Controls completes flashers and automated radar speed
for New Mexico DOT
TEMPE, AZ 07/06/2005 - Made possible by a joint effort of the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the U. S. 70 Hondo Valley project started construction August 2002, in southeast New Mexico widening a two-lane highway to help reduce accidents and improve traffic flow.
Funds were allotted for public safety upgrades. "Based upon our previous experience with NMDOT in rural New Mexico," said Joe Wise, president of Solar Traffic Controls (STC), "we were chosen for the project. STC was commissioned to install deer crossing flashers and traffic calming devices, also known as radar speed controls, along the 38-mile Hondo Valley portion of U.S. 70."
Twenty-two STC units were sold to and installed by Bixby Electric of Albuquerque. Two of the units were deer crossing warning flashers, basically school zone flashers designed to run 7 days a week: 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours in the evening since deers are diurnal, i.e., active two times a day-morning and evening.
An STC-designed time clock was incorporated into each unit enabling adjustment on a month-by-month or quarterly basis to compensate for the time shift in sunrise and sunset. The units turn on every day, 2 hours before and 2 hours after the official sunrise and sunset.
Of the remaining 20 systems installed, 10 were radar speed controls and 10 radar-activated flashers constituting a set of devices for traffic calming. These devices advise approaching drivers their speed using radar feedback. If they are speeding, the unit "radios" 500 feet down the road and activates two, 12-inch solar-powered flashers with the posted speed limit so drivers will decrease their speed. Every town along the route received a radar speed display on the entry of each side of town coupled with a solar-powered flasher.
About Solar Traffic Controls, LLC
Solar Traffic Controls (STC) designs and manufactures solar-powered traffic control systems for city, state and federal DOTs. Its primary products are solar-powered flashing beacon systems used for school zones and 24-hour applications. What sets STC's systems apart from its competitors: technical merit. For more information, please visit www.solar-traffic-controls.com
About New Mexico DOT U.S. 70 Hondo Valley Project
Made possible by a joint effort of the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the U. S. 70 Hondo Valley project started construction August 2002. In southeast New Mexico from Ruidoso Downs to Riverside, a two-lane highway has been widened to four lanes with wide shoulders and turning lanes to help reduce accidents and improve traffic flow. For more information, please visit www.us70hondovalley.com.
About Sierra Blanca Constructors, a joint venture company
Roadway Design Engineer, Jim Berrera of URS, part of the project's design-build team, determined that one of the major problems on U. S. 70 was speeding. This was a new concept project for Berrera. He had to find a company which had done similar systems and could work within the constraints of preserving historic "acequias" or hand-dug ditches along the route, archeological sites, Native American folklore and environmental issues.