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UDOT to install ‘heat tape’ to clear off snow from traffic signals

Eliobed Suarez

According to the Utah Department of Transportation, new “heat tape” devices will be installed on traffic signals across the state to make winter driving safe for drivers.

UDOT explains that heat tape sits on the underside of the hood of traffic lights and when turned on during heavy winter weather, can clear off snow from traffic signals by heating the cap of the stoplight.

Officials say that before UDOT began testing heat tape, the preferred method of snow removal from traffic signals was by clearing them off manually by technicians. Mark Taylor, traffic signal operations engineer at UDOT, says that if packed snow was too iced up, the technician would sometimes have to go 20 feet in the air with an ice scraper to scrape everything away. Taylor says that anytime somebody had to be put in the air or on the ground in traffic, there’s always a risk and that manual clearing takes more time than flipping on a switch with heat tape.

As of now, heat tape has already been installed on over 450 signals across the Davis, Utah, Salt Lake, Cache, and Iron counties. 67 more intersections have already been added to that growing list and more installations are expected to occur throughout 2023.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.