A $3 million grant from the federal government will be used to help improve the wait time at traffic lights for motorists visiting downtown Waterbury.
City officials said for more than 50 years, traffic lights have created a backup in the downtown area. At worst, more than 22,000 cars can travel through the downtown area in a day.
"It feels like it's almost about 10 minutes, just at one light," said Matthew Martinez of Waterbury. The worst time of the day is during rush hour, residents said.
"The technology exists today for a much more responsive traffic system that responds to volumes, lane changes," said Waterbury Grants Administrator Kathleen McNamara.
She added that the technology "would help synchronize traffic so that traffic flows better and pedestrians can cross easier."
Waterbury's Engineer Mark Pronovost said the new technology will not allow motorists to drive faster, however they will not be stopping at every intersection, either.
"With the congestion down on our green, it will make a difference," said Julius Carter, of Waterbury.
The city of Waterbury was one of nine municipalities to receive the grant from the Federal Highway Administration's Congestion Mitigation Air Quality program. Waterbury along with Hartford and Norwalk received the maximum amount allotted for the grant.
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