Silver Lake -- Village Council on March 20 approved purchasing two battery backup systems for traffic lights at two intersections.
The systems that the village will purchase for $7,400 from Twinsburg-based Path Master will ensure that the traffic signals at the intersections of Kent Road, Silver Lake Boulevard and Church Street, and Graham Road and Dover Road, will continue to operate when a power outage occurs.
Silver Lake Police Chief John Conley told Council he would like to get the systems into place some time this year. While there is not a warranty with the systems, Conley said the battery life would likely outlast any warranty. It continues to charge until the power goes out and the battery will then activate. Conley said the battery backup system will be set up next to the traffic control box.
The only other traffic signal that the village owns is a blinking light at Harriett and Kent roads, according to Mayor Bernie Hovey.
While noting that state law requires motorists to treat an intersection with non-working traffic lights as a four-way stop, Conley said on March 6 that drivers on Graham Road would have a difficult time seeing the intersection at night with the traffic lights out. He said he felt it was a safety issue and added that a power outage would mean using officers to help direct traffic.
Conley said the units from Path Master will run for up to 105 hours. In three decades of police service, Conley noted he did not recall the power going out for four days, but said he remembered some that lasted several hours.
From 2010 through 2015, there were seven power outages and eleven momentary power outages at Kent Road/Silver Lake Boulevard/Church Street, Conley said. In that same time frame, there were nine outages and 10 momentary outages on Graham Road.