Get ready for a new traffic signal system through the heart of Alexandria.

Starting next week, Aug. 17, motorists traveling on Highway 29 in Alexandria will begin to notice changes to traffic signals between Interstate 94 and Third Avenue, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The changes are the result of a traffic signal optimization study done earlier this year, and are expected to help improve mobility and reduce motorist delay through Alexandria.

“Motorists will need to pay closer attention at the signals, as the timing and sequencing may not be what they are used to,” explained Trudy Kordosky, district traffic engineer.

When making a left turn at certain intersections, drivers may find that the green left turn arrow appears at a different time in the cycle. The times of day when the flashing yellow arrow is used will also be updated to best fit the traffic volumes throughout the day. Motorists on local side streets may notice longer wait times, but the changes will reduce delays overall.

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When the adjustments are finalized, motorists on Highway 29 will benefit from reduced delays, stops, fuel usage, emissions, and wear and tear on their vehicles, according to MnDOT.

Nationally, updating traffic signal timing has been shown to reduce traffic delay by 15-40 percent, reduce travel times by up to 25 percent, and has a benefit to cost ratio that can exceed 50:1, according to transportation officials.