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AASHTO Journal

Caltrans Working on "Smart Corridor" through ITS System

The California Department of Transportation has announced a new project aimed at making their roadways "smart" in order to cut down on traffic congestion.

Caltrans is currently working on the $35 million San Mateo Smart Corridor Project, which will integrate Intelligent Transportation Systems onto a 20-mile stretch along the Highway 101 corridor. The project will include traffic technology tools such as a fiber optic communications system to connect Caltrans' Transportation Management Center in Oakland and 10 San Mateo County cities, electronic message signs that help inform motorists of detour routes following accidents or freeway problems, sensors that provide information about the volume of traffic at multiple locations, and closed-circuit cameras allowing Caltrans and the surrounding cities to examine traffic flow to determine the best ways to reroute drivers during congestion.

"We're working together to help people get to where they are going faster and easier," said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty in a statement. "This is a good example of how technology can help us make better use of the roads we already have."

Once complete, the project will link more than 250 state and local traffic signals together, making it easy to adjust signal timing in order to better manage traffic flow (instead of having to drive out to each particular signal to make any adjustments). The electronic message signs will greatly benefit drivers by providing them with real-time information to make better route decisions.

The Smart Corridor has received $17.5 million in funding from California's Proposition 1B, a transportation bond measure passed by voters in 2006. Caltrans expects the project to be completed in fall of 2013.

11/16/2012
Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.