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Niverville Traffic Lights in Operation

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The moment when Ron Schuler flicked the traffic signals into operation for the first time. Evan Braun

Drivers along Niverville’s Main Street should expect to contend with a new set of traffic lights. As of 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 25, the new signals at the corner of Main Street and Fifth Avenue are operational.

In addition to controlling traffic, the newly installed crosswalk signals will help pedestrians navigate the busy intersection.

To mark the occasion, Mayor Myron Dyck, Deputy Mayor John Funk, and Councillor Chris Wiebe were joined by MLA Ron Schuler. Schuler had the honour of flicking the switch to turn on the lights for the first time.

“You really put your shoulder to do this and did it in very fast order,” Schuler said to the gathered construction crew. “For all the things you do, and everyone else who was involved, thanks a lot to Manitoba Infrastructure for the work that you did. I am really impressed. This is exciting!”

Mayor Dyck took a moment to thank Schuler and the provincial government for fast-tracking the project, which had originally been announced on April 13.

“I don’t know how you get more hours in your day than the rest of us get,” Dyck joked, referring to the fact that Schuler has been active on COVID-19 subcommittees at the same time as working on infrastructure initiatives and dealing with spring flooding. “We’ve seen the expediency by which a project like this has been done, and it just goes to show the hard work that you do. Here in Niverville and our constituency, we are very grateful.”

Manitoba Infrastructure began installing the traffic signal cables and poles the week of May 4 and completed installation, configuration, and programming of all traffic signal components the week of May 18.

Schuler noted that the new traffic signals were a response to increased traffic in the area, and will increase safety while reducing delays for traffic attempting to access PR 311 from 5th Avenue.

“Safety is our government’s number one priority,” said Schuler. “Our government always puts safety first. This is truly about safety.”

How the Lights Work

The main question on the minds of local residents will be about how the lights are configured. One of the construction workers took a moment to explain the technology and how the lights have been timed.

“[The lights] utilize Wavetronics,” he explained. “The little white box at the top of the pole, that’s actually radar. The lights are programmed to rest green 24/7 on Main Street, unless a pedestrian presses the cross street button or a vehicle triggers the radar, and then it will cycle to the cross street. So if there’s no vehicles on the cross street, it will be green on the main street.”

The installation of these traffic lights is bound to be viewed by residents and commuters as a symbol of strong regional growth.

“It is a privilege to represent growing communities, and that’s what we have throughout our region,” said Schuler. “These are really interesting times for growing communities… This is a great place to live. Just driving out again this morning, it is so beautiful. I’m so pleased to always be partnering with council.”

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