Blinking light repairs coming soon

By: Donovan W. Mann –

Humboldt, IA – The blinking traffic lights on highway 3 will be repaired by the city this coming spring.

For nearly a year, the traffic lights at the four way intersection of Taft Street and Highway 3 in Humboldt have been going through a spontaneous cycle of functioning as a proper stop light cycle and flashing yellow traveling east/west and red traveling north/south. City Administrator Travis Geodkin says that the stop lights are design to switch to the default flashing signals when something in the system malfunctions and says that this is still a legal functioning traffic signal.

Geodkin says the lights start to blink when there is a large accumulation of moisture on the ground. After an investigation, the city was able to determine the probable cause being the magnetic strips under Taft short circuiting as a result of the moisture. He says the city has been aware of the problem and has been working with the Iowa Department of Transportation on establishing a solution.

Geodkin says the city is responsible for repairs on the light. A few solutions have been mulled over by the city. The first being replacement and continued use of the magnetic strip sensors built into the road. The second would be switching the lights over to a camera based system, a costly option according to Geodkin. The third solution is running the light on a timer but Geodkin says the DOT would more than likely not sign off on a timer.

The city plans to continue the use of magnetic strips to manage the traffic light’s cycle. Goedkin says the city was considering repairing the light last fall but delayed the repair due to the coming winter. The plan is to start the repairs in the spring and incorporate this project with the large scale street project the city plans to do this year.