JOHN DAY - Bugged by construction delays? Transportation officials are hoping sensor-triggered signals will alleviate frustrations for drivers through four bridge construction sites in the region.

"In-ground sensors will detect when a car is present and if no other vehicles are crossing the bridge, the light will change to green," said Tom Strandberg, Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman. "The original plan was to use timer-controlled signals, but this system will keep traffic moving and help reduce driver frustration."

The closed-loop signals are being put into use at these sites:

? Coles Bridge, just east of Mt. Vernon. Drivers can expect alternating one-way traffic starting this week. Work will continue through 2010.

? Goose Rock Bridge, 11 miles west of Dayville on Highway 19. Work will continue into 2011.

? Camas Creek and North Fork John Day River Bridges, south of Ukiah on U.S. Highway 395. Work at these sites also will continue into 2011.

The signals will operate 24 hours a day during the projects. In addition to sensing when a vehicle is ready to cross, the equipment also detects when vehicles have cleared the bridge to ensure that the roadway is clear before oncoming traffic gets a green light.

Eugene-based Wildish Standard Paving Co. is the contractor for the projects, which are part of a group of ODOT bridge jobs between Pendleton and Burns.

Motorists are asked to plan for delays, drive carefully and obey the temporary traffic signals.

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