What's on the Short North arches? An answer from the city

10TV News

COLUMBUS -- People who live in or drive through the Short North are doing a double take as they notice something atop the neighborhood's historic arches.

Social media users have speculated it could be anything from ShotSpotter technology to a traffic camera.

Turns out, it's neither.

Advertisement - Story continues below

The city of Columbus said it's a wireless radio that maintains communication between city traffic signals.

"As part of the Columbus Traffic Signal System project, the existing system is being migrated in phases to the new traffic signal system so that everything is underground and wireless," said Debbie Briner with the city's department of public service. "Several of the wireless radios have been temporarily installed along High Street until new fiber can be installed in the underground conduit constructed as part of the Short North construction. The radios help coordinate the traffic signals and alleviate congestion."

These are typically placed on traffic signals, but sometimes crews need to get creative so the devices can communicate with one another.

"If we would have put the radios on [traffic] signals in the Short North, the arches may have blocked that sight line." Briner said.

And the question plaguing some Short North residents: is the device there for good?

"Once the fiber is installed, the wireless radios will be removed," Briner said. "They may be in place for several months, but they aren’t permanent."