What are those black tubes on the road? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

What are those black tubes on the road?

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February 20, 2004

Albany - Have you ever wondered about those black rubber tubes you sometimes see stretched across the road? A lot of them have been popping up around Albany. They will help determine how much money the city will get for road improvements.

Does this sound familiar? It should if you've been in Albany lately, but it's not just here, you will see the black rubber tubes in. each and every county in the state.

The counters record how many tires roll through within a 48 hour period. There were so many around Albany, it has taken four workers to remove them.

You may have only driven over a few, but there were nearly 300 traffic counters. City Engineer Associate Walter House says, "Yeah, yeah, a lot of numbers."

The Georgia Department of Transportation sends the data to Congress to get federal grants for road improvements. House says, "It's definitely a benefit."

The Albany Engineering Department keeps the information for the public, so future business owners can study traffic volume before making a move. House adds, "They want to know where the traffic volume is to give them the most exposure."

The majority of the roads in Albany did show an increase in traffic volume from 2001 to 2002. Last year's data should be released in a month.

The reason you see more counters this time around, the D.O.T. now has four workers in each county instead of one. They are putting down the black tubes quicker and getting more accurate results.

The Department of Transportation has 24,000 traffic counts across the state. They only have 13 workers who place and pick up the counters.

posted at 6:55PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com