Traffic-light system being upgraded on Sunset Boulevard in West Columbia, to monitor traffic flow

Recently, travelers may have noticed changes in traffic patterns, on Highway 378, as the Town of Lexington works to optimize the operation of the Adaptive Computerized Signalization System. Traffic signals along Highway 378, between Lott Court and Hummingbird Drive, are nearing completion and will help to improve emergency response times for patients requiring hospital care.

The $2 million project, which is funded by Lexington Medical Center, includes the installation of traffic detection cameras, Bluetooth travel time monitoring devices, and pre-emption control devices, which monitor real-time traffic flow patterns and adjust traffic signal timing for maximum efficiency.

“We are experiencing our first week of operation and are working with the Town of Lexington to tweak the system for optimal performance. We are told there will be adjustments made, but when the system is optimized, it will be worth the learning period,” Councilman Jimmy Brooks.

The upgraded traffic-signal system will allow ambulances transporting patients to Lexington Medical Center to utilize onboard traffic-signal emitters to safely and efficiently move through the improved intersections, in the hopes of reducing response times. The emitters interact with the updated traffic signals to ensure that all traffic signals ahead of an ambulance running lights and sirens turn green, so that the ambulance can move through the intersections.

Currently, there are 12 ambulances outfitted with traffic-signal emitters. Lexington County EMS has budgeted for four additional ambulances to be outfitted with the device in the upcoming fiscal year; the cost of outfitting an ambulance with the device is approximately $4,200. It is the County’s goal to eventually outfit each of the County’s 28 ambulances with these traffic-signal emitters.

Additionally, Lexington County Fire Service has outfitted seven fire response vehicles that respond to emergencies along the Highway 378 corridor with the traffic-signal emitters. The City of West Columbia Fire Department is also equipping the fleet with these same emitters.

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