Ghana’s Department of Urban Roads (DUR) is set to commence a new $135m project for the deployment of a centrally controlled and coordinated traffic signal system in the country’s capital city, Accra, in March 2013.

Expected to facilitate the urban traffic management, the Accra Intelligent Traffic Management System (AITMS) scheme will be funded with part of a $3bn loan from the China Development Bank (CDB).

This new project is expected to remove the city’s traffic congestion and regular gridlock during peak traffic hours, while also lowering air pollution.

As part of the project, street lights with solar-power backups will be deployed along 200km of road to provide night-time safety and urban renewal, while 182 intelligent traffic signals will be installed and coordinated under this project.

The AITMS will include an intelligent traffic violation monitoring system, which will use advanced image recognition, motion detection and vehicle license plate recognition technologies to lower speeding, red-light and parking violations.

The latest system will be managed from a central traffic control centre (TCC), which will examine traffic on vital corridors and junctions across the city.

"This new project is expected to remove the city’s traffic congestion and regular gridlock during peak traffic hours."

DUR chief engineer in charge of maintenance Rosby Kome-Mensah said that the new system will allow traffic signals to communicate with each other and increase efficiency and lessen delays.

The intelligent traffic lights will enable the operation of a ‘green wave’ on certain corridors at rush hours, which will help vehicles move through successive intersections at a specified speed without stopping.

With the help of this system, travellers can also get real-time information on traffic flows, congestion and incidents on travel routes from variable message signs (VMS) installed at strategic locations.

All the sub-systems will be integrated at the TCC from where traffic and incidents on important corridors and junctions across the city will be monitored and managed.

Chinese firm Beijing Everyway Traffic and Lighting Technology has been appointed for the provision and installation of the traffic management system, while the two local companies, Ussuya and Sidalco, will work on the intersection improvement works and the construction of the TCC.