Signals planned for Burbank

The traffic lights at the intersection of Scott Road and Glenoaks Boulevard in Burbank are slated for upgrades in 2013. (Roger Wilson / Staff Photographer / July 9, 2013)

A number of Burbank traffic signals are slated for upgrades this year, which officials say will help ease traffic congestion during the construction of carpool lanes and a new interchange at Empire Avenue on the Golden State (5) Freeway.

Officials plan to tap $1 million in Measure R funds for signal improvements at seven intersections, the majority of which currently operate on fixed schedules, meaning the lights change at the same time regardless of traffic, officials said.

The improvements will allow the signals to respond and adjust to traffic conditions, which will improve the flow for commuters who, during construction, will be rerouted onto local streets.

"That's going to be a real issue in the next couple of years as [the California Department of Transportation] starts changing our system," said Traffic Engineer Ken Johnson. "We're really going to have to be very aware of what's happening with the freeway and the connections to it."

The Empire Avenue interchange will provide freeway access from San Fernando Boulevard and Empire Avenue, linking downtown Burbank and the Bob Hope Airport.

Glenoaks Boulevard, Johnson said, will be a "prime route" for detours during construction. Signal upgrades are planned for where the street intersects Amherst Street, Winona Avenue and Scott Road, which accounts for $190,000 of the project.

The Measure R funds — generated through a countywide half-cent sales tax — are restricted for transit and highway improvements.

Other intersections set for traffic upgrades are Pass Avenue and Oak Street, Verdugo Avenue and Alameda Avenue, and Keystone Street and Riverside Drive, according to a city report.

The improvements are slated to be completed by the end of the year, officials said.

Caltrans will also fund $265,000 in signal upgrades where Glenoaks Boulevard hits Winona Avenue, Magnolia Boulevard and Tulare Avenue, and at the intersection of Scott Road and San Fernando Boulevard, to minimize the impact of construction on traffic flow, Johnson said.

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Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.

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