The city is about to launch a major upgrade to traffic lights at 91 intersections on peninsular Halifax, with the aim of better coordinating signals and improving traffic flow.

The $3.2 million project will begin this fall with eight to 10 test sites. It will then be extended to other intersections next year with full implementation expected by early 2016.

Drivers in Halifax often hit multiple red lights on commuter thoroughfares such as Quinpool Road and Robie Street.

"It's frustrating to get tied up when it's really not necessary," says cab driver Sandra Johnson.

The head of traffic services for the city says he hopes the upgrade will improve the situation. It will also replace a dated traffic management system that no longer works.

"As a driver, you probably will see some improvements to the traffic flow on the major arterials within the peninsula," says Taso Koutroulakis​, manager of traffic and right-of-way services.

Traffic signal timing will be programmed with the help of updated traffic counts. Radar [devices] will track car and bicycle numbers at key intersections, gathering information so signal timing can be altered in real time to match traffic flow. Lights on major corridors will 'talk to one another,'" says Koutroulakis.

"The timing plans for those intersections will be set up in such that there'll be coordination of traffic signals throughout that corridor," he says.

"So, as a driver, in theory you'll get green lights as you're progressing through the corridors."

The tender for the work was awarded in June to Canadian engineering and management firm Delcan Corporation.