ATLANTIC CITY — Driving on Pacific Avenue may become a little less stop-and-go in the coming weeks, once the traffic lights are synchronized.
The lights are frequently brought up by residents at public meetings as, at best, an annoyance or, at worst, a microcosm of how local government struggles to address even minor issues. City Council responded to concerns Wednesday and awarded a $162,445 contract to Camden County-based engineering firm Pennoni to upgrade traffic signals.
“Kudos to the administration and anybody involved in this,” said 6th Ward Councilman Jesse Kurtz, before the contract was unanimously approved. “It’s well needed, and it will be great to have the lights synchronized.”
“They definitely need to be synchronized,” 1st Ward Councilman Aaron Randolph chimed in.
The contract is subject to final approval by the state Department of Transportation and the city’s Planning and Development Department.
In other infrastructure business, City Council took action on the Ohio Avenue bridge project in Venice Park, which is now scheduled to commence in October. According to the project engineer, the replacement of the bridge over the Penrose Canal is estimated to take 14 months to complete.
The governing body also accepted a $1 million grant for the second Ohio Avenue bridge over the Venice Lagoon.
Atlantic City has received more than $3.4 million in grant funding to replace the two bridges that have been categorized by the Federal Highway Administration’s National Bridge Inventory as being in need of replacement, dating back to 2013.
According to the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization, construction costs to rehabilitate the two bridges are estimated to be $6.5 million.
City Council also spent $95,086 on the heating and air conditioning system at City Hall, where some employees have spent summer days working in an office building with little to no air conditioning. The city’s public works facility is getting a new concrete floor after council voted to approve $200,116 on the project.
An additional $200,000 was allocated to flood-proof certain city buildings. The resolution awarding the contract to On-Board Engineering did not specify which city buildings would be addressed.