Citywide Battery Back Up System Project
Role: Project Engineer (PE) and Project Manager (PM)
Donya Amiri was City of Fremont's Transportation Engineer in charge of operating and managing the maintenance of over 220 traffic signals. Given the fluctuation in power and regular PG&E outages in certain parts of the city, installing battery backup units were essential to keeping the traffic signals in operation during an unscheduled power interruption. To ensure safety at the busiest intersections in the city, this project expedited the installation of over twenty battery back up systems and reenergized 11 existing battery back systems throughout the city. The decision to prioritize this project was for the following reasons:
- Improve safety! By having more of the city's intersections equipped with operating and dependable battery backup system, the greater the chance of reducing collisions due to a dark intersection, equipment failure, saving Fremont Police Department and Maintenance staffing efforts in placing and then removing 4-way stops. Additionally, users of the road would experience smooth traffic signal operation during a planned or unplanned power outage.
- Save Money: A competitive product in the market was first piloted and determined to outperform the high-end system that was currently used by the City. The extra effort of getting all of the competitors to come and present their product(s) to the City and pilot their equipment during with a planned power outage, paid great dividends when the City was able to purchase a complete system for less than half the cost of the existing battery system.
- Save Resources: When the busiest intersections that carry the highest volumes of vehicles and pedestrians have battery backup systems that are reliable and fully charged to perform up to 6-8 hours in full color/flashing red operation, City responders are able to better schedule their visit to the interrupted intersections.
This project has been greatly appreciated by the community, Fremont Police Department, Public Works Maintenance staff, and the City's traffic signal maintenance contractor.