City seeks bids for new traffic cameras

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, August 14, 2019

New traffic cameras are coming to Suffolk to replace older technology that is used to monitor city traffic.

The city has put out a request for proposals to establish an open-ended supply contract to provide traffic video detection equipment to be purchased on an as-needed basis at various intersections as required by the Department of Public Works’ traffic engineering division. The RFP notes that the contract is for equipment only, as the city will install the new cameras.

“This RFP is not for a specific project, but to allow city staff to purchase repair items to maintain existing traffic monitoring systems,” city spokeswoman Diana Klink said. “These cameras allow for counting traffic, monitoring its flow and supporting remote traffic management operations and repairs.”

Klink said the money to buy any cameras procured would come from roadway maintenance funds that are also used by the traffic engineering division annually throughout the city, including traffic signals, roadway lines, signage and a number of other materials the division needs.

Until recently, traffic signals throughout the region used loop detectors, which were embedded in the pavement to detect vehicles at traffic signals, Klink said. With newer technology, the video detection system is preferred to detect traffic, and new traffic signals that are built use the video technology as older loop detection systems fail.

“It provides a cost-effective system and (is a) less-costly solution to maintain compared to the previous system,” Klink said.

The cameras only have a live feed and are used for transportation purposes only, Klink said. They do not record, and no video from past events is available to view.

The RFP for the cameras state that the camera should provide a 360-degree view of all approaches on an average-size intersection, with two wide-angle cameras to provide detection coverage for large intersections.

Bids for the project are due by 3 p.m. Sept. 18.