News Flash

Irving: Investing in Our Future

Posted on: October 1, 2021

Traffic Signal Battery Backup Program Keeps Drivers, Emergency Services Safe on Irving Roads

Large screens project images from various Irving intersections to help control the flow of traffic.

During the February winter storms in Texas, the City of Irving’s Traffic and Transportation Department used proactive measures to keep hazardous road conditions to a minimum for drivers and emergency personnel. The city was instrumental in extending traffic signals 16 to 18 hours into the winter weather event thanks to the Traffic Operations Center (TOC) — one of Irving’s largest smart cities initiatives — and the traffic signal battery backup system.

Construction on the TOC began in 2017. Since then, the city has installed 100% of its planned back-up batteries — 210 in total. Currently, the city is in maintenance mode with the program, including replacing batteries and testing the system annually. 

The Traffic and Transportation Department keeps the traffic signals working with as little interruption to service as possible. Additionally, the department aims to mitigate unnecessary police and fire calls for traffic control at intersections.

In February, 109,000 minutes of battery power were used, while in the month before, the city used 1,249 minutes of battery power.

The battery backup system can withstand extreme temperatures and is a reliable tool to keep signals in operation during power outages. The backup power supply keeps traffic signals operating for six to eight hours and then in flash mode for four hours.

Many drivers may be unaware of how to proceed in a dark intersection with no operating traffic lights. Additionally, if a driver is distracted and there are no flashing red lights, they may continue through the intersection without braking or stopping. During the winter storm, while streetlights, homes and businesses lost power, many Irving intersections relied on the battery backup program to flash red lights for a four-way stop. This was especially critical to emergency services, which were already facing a high volume of dispatch calls.

Before the TOC and the installation of backup batteries, drivers would notify dispatch if traffic lights were not operating, and emergency services personnel would notify the Traffic and Transportation Department to send a technician to the scene.

With the TOC now in place, traffic signal technicians can monitor all parts of the system remotely with a laptop. This remote monitoring helps staff identify opportunities for improvements to signal operations. Automatic notification of signal malfunctions, including power outages and flashing operations, alert on-call personnel outside of normal working hours so they can swiftly address the issue.

The new program has prevented 85% to 90% of after-hour calls to a traffic technician.


View more news and information about Irving’s Infrastructure investments by searching #IrvingInvests.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Irving: Investing in Our Future

Northbound Esters Road at Ranier Street

Esters Road Paving and Utility Improvement Begins in February

Posted on: February 1, 2024 | Last Modified on: March 30, 2022
Improved Drainage Swale at the Irving Texas Parkside neighborhood.

Irving Crews Act Quickly to Reinforce Eroded Drainage Swale

Posted on: February 1, 2024 | Last Modified on: March 30, 2022
Heavy equipment removes silt and debris from a drainage channel.

Keeping Storm Drains in Good Shape

Posted on: November 1, 2023
Aerial shot of Keeler Park

Keeler Park Improvements Underway

Posted on: July 1, 2023
Irving Parks and Recreation employee stands in front of work truck.

Irving Puts Technology to Work

Posted on: May 4, 2023
The original Central Fire Station and City Hall building in 2022.

Red Doors in the Heart of Heritage

Posted on: August 4, 2022
A crew places fresh asphalt on Rock Island Road.

Summer Overlay Project Kicks Off

Posted on: May 6, 2022
Lower Delaware Creek channel walls rebuilt at Grauwyler Road.

Delaware Creek Drainage Update

Posted on: April 1, 2022
A worker carefully sandblasts part of the sculpture to restore it to its original state.

Williams Square Plaza Renovation Progress

Posted on: February 23, 2022
Artist rendering of the finished Irving Boulevard, with a bike lane and wider sidewalks.

Nov. 9, 2021, Stakeholder Meeting Update

Posted on: November 12, 2021
Artist rendering of aerial view of the finished Williams Square.

Williams Square Plaza Update

Posted on: November 1, 2021
Little girl plays in the new Paws Colinas dog park with three dogs.

Paws Colinas Dog Park Now Open

Posted on: July 13, 2021
Bridge over a creek on Campion Trail.

Campion Trail Usage Soars

Posted on: June 1, 2021
A slide at the newly renovated West Park.

West Park Opens to the Public

Posted on: March 5, 2021
Traffic detour on Irving Boulevard, Nov. 11, 2021, for the reconstruction project.

Dec. 14, 2021, Stakeholder Meeting Update

Posted on: December 27, 2021
The restored bank on the east side of Delaware Creek, after the main installation.

Feb. 8, 2022, Stakeholder Meeting Update

Posted on: February 22, 2022