San Marcos constructs new antenna to control city traffic signals

Crews construct new communications antenna in the San Marcos Cemetery. (KXAN photo)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – The city of San Marcos is constructing a new telecommunications antenna pole which will support communication equipment for city emergency services and traffic signal management.

The current pole providing that service stands on a large water tank near the San Marcos Cemetery, 115 feet in the air. The new antenna will be located in the back corner of the cemetery and will stand on its own, at 195-feet tall.

The antennas help improve the flow of traffic by transmitting information to traffic boxes near intersections.

“They basically go out and monitor the flow of traffic, they’re able to look at traffic and all that kind of stuff to see if there’s any congestion. Then we can adjust the traffic signals,” said the city of San Marcos director of information technology Mike Sturm.

As the city grows, Sturm says it’s necessary to put the antennas higher so it can reach more of the city. Along with improving the flow of traffic, he says it will also improve radio signals for first responders.

“That’s the primary reason for the additional height, is to give us that coverage we’re looking for and also provide better services to our citizens in the future,” said Sturm.

The new pole will cost the city around $200,000. Crews expect to have the antenna construction complete by Feb. 23. The city says it will be using a crane to stack the poles.

Once construction is complete on the new pole, the decommissioned water tank will be demolished. The city says that will take about a month.

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