MYSTERY SOLVED: New Kell Fwy traffic cameras

© The mystery of the giant poles on Kell Freeway is solved, they are traffic cameras.
© The mystery of the giant poles on Kell Freeway is solved, they are traffic cameras.

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Several Texomans have asked what are those giant poles going up in the middle of the Kell Freeway in Wichita Falls.

"I've seen a lot of hype on Facebook about it," Nathan Wachsman said. "There's been a lot talk about."

Construction on the poles started in October. Some had their own theories about what the poles are.

"I really wasn't sure," Will Wright said. "I just thought it was something with antenna and communication at first."

"If I had to guess it's some sort of camera or maybe a speed camera," Wachsman said. He was partly right part of that guess is right. The poles are five new TxDOT traffic cameras at Brook, Taft, Kemp, Fairway and Barnett.

TxDOT officials and Wichita Falls Police will use those traffic cameras once they are up and running.

"We can zoom in on anything going on or we can move camera views to see what's going on like a car accident or a backup or any type of problem that can be on the roadway," Adele Lewis TxDOT Public Information Officer said.

"We better be aware of our speed and watch what we're doing," Wright said jokingly. "It will help make more aware what's going on I guess for TxDOT."

It is a more than $930,000 project which will give live access to one of the busiest freeways and multiple transitions to TxDOT officials and WFPD. Lewis said the majority of accidents are calls made to WFPD but sometimes the cameras help locate where they occur.

"There are other occasions where we, [officials] in the call centers like over at police department or TxDOT, we'll see the accident traffic jam or the accident happen in real time."

Lewis said the public can access the nine cameras that are up and running to monitor traffic in Wichita Falls.

"Let's say it's icy and snowy outside and they're trying to contemplate whether or not they should leave their house," Lewis said. "If they live in Wichita Falls, they can pull up the camera and see how traffic is moving, see if there are any traffic jams and it can give them a better perspective of what's it like on the highways."

The Kell Freeway cameras are not operational yet and Lewis said they should be up and running in two months. The cameras still need power, programming and testing before they are accessible to everyone on the TxDOT website.

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