He keeps 1,800 highway lights and 155 traffic signals running

He keeps 1,800 highway lights and 155 traffic signals running

By Laurie Merrill / ADOT Communications
November 8, 2021

Trevor Eltringham is one of those fortunate individuals who gets to apply his childhood fascination to his job at the Arizona Department of Transportation.

 As Signals, Lights and Technical Electrical (SLATE) Northwestern Regional Manager, Eltringham is in charge of maintaining 1,800 lights and 155 traffic signals for one-third of the state. Two other regional managers handle other areas of Arizona.

As a youngster growing up in Yarnell, Eltringham developed an interest in electricity that probably started at home with his father, a retired electrical engineer.

“I was drawn to it,” he said. “It was intriguing to see how electricity moved things and made things run. I was just attracted to that.”

Today, Eltringham oversees four area supervisors and eight technicians based in district offices in Yuma, Kingman, Payson and Prescott Valley.

To get a sense of the size of their territory, look at the red slashes on the map in this post. The area stretches from the international Mexican border to the Nevada state line.

“There is a lot of traveling, but we do just fine,” he said. “If the Kingman office gets a call about about an outage in Mohave, that’s a two-hour drive.”

ADOT is continually installing and utilizing technology that allows techs to verify, diagnose and temporarily repair issues remotely, before they travel the distance to make hands-on fixes. 

For example, ADOT recently updated traffic management technology along a 13-mile stretch of State Route 95 in Lake Havusu City.

“The ultimate goal is to ensure the safe passage of the traveling public,” he said. “The quicker we can do that remotely, the better off the public is.”

On a recent Monday in August, Eltringham was pleased to report that only 15 of the 1,800 lights were having issues.

“We pride ourselves in keeping everything up and running,” he said.  

Eltringham has held every position he now oversees. He has logged more than 17 years with ADOT, starting as a technician or “tech,” in 1996, which meant he was in the field, maintaining and repairing traffic lighting and signals.

He briefly left ADOT in 2004 to work in the private sector, then returned as an electrical inspector in 2011, became an area supervisor under Traffic Systems Management and Operations (TSMO), and in 2017, was named regional manager.

Eltringham’s supervisor, Bob LaJeunesse, Resident Engineer of the Northwest District, couldn’t be more pleased with his performance.

“Trevor is one of ADOT's finest and best and a true joy to work with. He manages the traffic signal and lighting maintenance for a very large part of the state,” LaJeunesse said.

“He is respected equally by those above and below him both for his technical ability and the way he relates to people. He is always positive and encourages. Trevor makes the job of being his supervisor an enjoyable experience.”

For his part, Eltringham said he loves his job because he appreciates both the culture and mission of ADOT.

 “I like being part of the bigger picture, being part of a group that can make a difference,” Eltringham said. “We have our hands on the outcomes of signal and lighting systems. We make a difference in the lives of the motoring public.”

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