Q: I’ve noticed there are cameras mounted on many of the intersections on Mitchell Street in Cadillac. They have been there for at least four months if not longer. What is the purpose of these? Who is monitoring and why?

A: The cameras you are referencing are traffic detection cameras. They are, however, not video cameras.

They were placed at intersections on Mitchell Street and were designed to detect vehicles. As part of the Mitchell Street project, MDOT mounted non-recording white cameras on the newly installed strain poles at signalized intersections.

The cameras are positioned to detect when vehicles appear on side streets. When a vehicle appears in a designated area, the camera triggers the light sequence and gives side-street traffic green light. This allows Mitchell Street traffic to have a green light unless someone pulls up to an intersection from a side street.

The prior traffic detection system was “detection loops,” which are placed in the pavement. The cameras are a newer technology which functions with MDOT’s computer-controlled signals and don’t need to be replaced every time there is road work.

Q: I see that the new roof over the Shay Locomotive is nearly complete. I wondered why it is so high above the locomotive. Will some type of canopy be installed to better help protect the unit from bad weather like blowing rain and snow?

A: Rover reached out to Cadillac Community Development Director John Wallace who told him the simple answer to the question is no, but with a caveat.

Wallace said the old structure was too close to the train and hid parts of the train from view. He said when designing the new structure, Wallace said they wanted it to be barrier-free for photo opportunities from every angle and have room for nighttime illumination.

Although there will not be a covering like the question is about, Wallace said it will be more protected from the elements than it was previously.

“It’s never been fully protected and it won’t be now. The idea (of the project) was to allow people to appreciate it with full views and photo opportunities,” he said.

Shay Locomotive display upgrades were spearheaded by the Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class as their project for 2021. The Leadership Class raised around $90,000 and secured around $15,000 in labor contributions toward the project’s completion.

The project entails the construction of a new canopy over the locomotive, installation of lights near the display so people can see it at night, and installation of bricks in front of the locomotive engraved with the names of the groups and individuals that donated toward the project’s completion.

The leadership class also is preparing a formal history on the Shay that will be available on the chamber or Wexford County Historical Society websites and accessible by a QR code on site.

If you have a question for Rover you can email it to news@cadillacnews.com or call (231)775-NEWS (6397)

Staff Writer/Reporter

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