It’s not your normal road work. Fiber optic cable for digital traffic cameras is being installed along some major corridors in eastern Iowa, including beside Interstates 74 and 80 in the Davenport area, I-380 between Waterloo and Cedar Rapids and along I-80 in Iowa City.
Iowa DOT spokesman Mark Brandl says the cameras aren’t going up yet, just the poles and equipment — for now. Brandl says the cameras will be installed at some point in the future but in order to get there, much hardware needs to be installed first. He says the most expensive item on the contract is the fiber optic lines themselves, and for the poles on which the cameras will sit.
Brandl says the cameras will be used primarily by authorities to monitor traffic flow so help can be dispatched should problems arise. Brandl says the current plan is to get the cameras in place for future construction as some funds are already being appropriated for the building of a new bridge in the Quad Cities area.
He says it’s still not clear whether the images captured on the cameras will be available for public viewing. He says that hasn’t been decided yet as they want to get the cameras operational first, as they still have “funding issues.”
The cameras will also be installed along Highway 218, running from Iowa City to Keokuk, the so-called Avenue of the Saints. The one-million dollar project should be done by the end of September.