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Cutting Edge Traffic Devices To Be Installed on Racetrack Road

The Advanced Traffic Management Systems will make the flow of traffic better during peak times.

A solution to traffic snarls during race time at Tampa Bay Downs may be coming to Racetrack Road.

The Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners will consider approving $1.6 million in funding for an advanced traffic management system at its board meeting on Wednesday.

"During certain games at the race track there's this huge influx of traffic," said Steve Valdez, spokesman for the county's public works department. "So if the system can sense that influx, it can get people into and out of the area when the races are over in a more efficient manner."

A few years ago the county widened Racetrack Road to a six-lane highway from Hillsborough Avenue to Douglas Road. As part of that project the county also agreed to install a remedy for traffic overflow from the races.

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Margo Flynn, a spokeswoman for Tampa Bay Downs, had no comment about the road improvements.

An advanced traffic management system is controlled by fiber optic cables and computerized control sensors. They are visible along the roadway and are placed on poles. The system senses when traffic is increased and provides more of a flow of motorists by controlling the traffic signals.

"It looks like cameras but they're not cameras, they're sensors," Valdez said. "It senses the flow of traffic."

If approved, construction of the project will be done by the contractor, Traffic Control Devices. There would be no real impact to motorists during construction since the majority of the work would be done in the right of ways.

Racing season opens in December and continues through May. If the board approves the traffic management system, it would be completed by next winter, Valdez said.

What do you think about this idea? Does traffic here need improving? Let us know in the comments section.

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