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Why is the city stringing wires for traffic lights and not putting them on metal arms at Independence Boulevard intersections?

Ken Little

Donald Bennett, city of Wilmington traffic engineer, said that at the time of design, the maximum length of arm available for metal pole intersections was 50 feet.

“Since the intersection of Shipyard at Independence is so wide, it was not feasible to design a structure that will span to the center of what will eventually be dual left-turn lanes on Shipyard and offset left turn lanes on Independence. Therefore, a metal strain pole arrangement was chosen,” Bennett said.

Bennett said the intersections of Independence Boulevard at 17th Street and Carolina Beach Road “are skewed, meaning the roads do not intersect at approximately 90 degrees.”

“This leads to the same long span lengths that require the installation of metal poles with span wire,” Bennett said.

Any intersection built with metal structures in Wilmington is designed to survive 130-mile-per-hour sustained winds “with significant gust factors,” he added.

User-contributed question by:
Joe Sigman

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