The City of Winnipeg is spending $550,000 to cover its traffic lights with a waterproof gel skin to keep water out and prevent malfunctions.

For the past number of years the city has seen a surge in flashing traffic signals, particularly during heavy rain, snow storms and sudden temperature increases in winter.

The main reason is excessive moisture that gets into the electrical components of the traffic signal poles, the city said in a press release announcing the gel skin.

The Public Works Department tested a number of products to identify the most suitable under various weather situations.

Installation will begin this year on some 50 to 80 traffic light locations. Subject to approval of funding in the 2015 budget, the rest of the city's 645 signalized intersections (6,000 to 7,000 poles) will be done.