The City of Wayland has a good chance to have a new traffic light sometime this year at the intersection of Main and Superior streets downtown, but council members were told Monday evening that $32,000 in engineering costs will need to be absorbed first.
City Engineer Mickey Bittner said paperwork deadline is by May for an estimated $180,000 grant for a “congestion mitigation” project through Rural Task Force money made available to Allegan County.
“It’s getting to be crunch time,” Bittner told the council. “We don’t want to lose that money,” adding that rules are “use it or lose it.”
The Friends of the Blue Star Highway on the west side of the county were first in line for the grants this year, but they are unable to complete necessary preliminary work. So Wayland officials were surprised with the news that they’ve moved up to No. 1.
However, City manager Mike Selden reported, “We don’t have the money in the budget” for the project, which is fully funded by the grant, but the city must pick up the engineering fees.
The project would involve installation of a new traffic light facing in all four directions and more sensitive via camera syncing to traffic conditions in order to change.
Selden said the light would include masked arm bars to better accommodate directing traffic.
The grant is the result of an effort to have fewer vehicles stopped at lights simply running their engines when no other motorists are approaching them.
The City Council will vote at its next meeting Feb. 2 on funding the engineering fees for the project and Bittner said all preliminary work should be done by May.