Staff Spotlight: Traffic Ops Team keeps us safe over the holidays

How did you spend your Christmas? This group of guys spent more than six hours in below-freezing temperatures to repair a traffic cabinet and get traffic lights working again. That’s why all four of them are this week’s Staff Spotlight.

It all started at 10:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Barry Millirans – a 15-year member of the Traffic Operations crew – got a call from the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office that the lights were out at the intersection of Liberty Church and Houston roads. They also told him the traffic cabinet was knocked clean off its pedestal and pushed down the road.

“We don’t get a set schedule when we’re on call. Three of us rotate, and the Christmas holiday weekend was my turn. I got the call at 10 p.m. on the 24th, hopped in the car, and went to check it out,” says Millirans. “I was able to hook up a flasher box, which makes the lights flash red as a four-way stop.”

Mark Huntington is the Traffic Operations Manager and says his crew is dependable and fast. “We’re a tight-knit crew. We’re like family. We’ve been to funerals for each other’s parents, and we take care of each other,” says Huntington.

The team got to work. Quinten Fields, Shane Folendore, Lewis Mbong, and Millirans spent six hours on Christmas Day undertaking the arduous task of replacing the traffic cabinet. Including equipment, programming the box, repairing signals, signs, the lines, and everything else – a fix like this costs nearly $50,000. In a community the size of Macon-Bibb, there’s more than 400 traffic signals, thousands of traffic signs, and even more drivers on our roads every day. Just last year, this four-man team and their manager responded to 2,671 calls which includes 236 calls outside of normal business hours.

“This team is a lot like a lot of our employees here: when they perform their job flawlessly, no one notices. That’s because they’re expected to – and when something goes wrong, that’s when we get a call or message or SeeClickFix ticket to come fix it,” says Rob Ryals, Facilities Management Director. “This team is dedicated and smart and we couldn’t operate without them. Barry is retiring in March, and we’re losing a lot institutional knowledge with him so we’re grateful for how much he’s taught these other guys and continues to support the community.

They are hiring, so check to review job listings. Join us in saying THANK YOU to this teams for braving frigid temperatures on Christmas to keep us moving – you’re a vital part of #teammaconbibb!

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