Local, State Agencies Shine at Annual ITS Georgia Meeting

Dekalb and Fulton County, the City of Johns Creek and the State Road & Tollway Authority all received awards for their utilization of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) at this year’s ITS Georgia Annual Meeting and Exposition. ITS improves transportation safety and mobility and enhances productivity through the integration of advanced communications technologies into the transportation infrastructure and in vehicles. Check below the jump for the full details of each award.

The City of John’s Creek won the Outstanding Public Member Agency Award, which recognizes leadership in promoting ITS and/or ITSGA goals during the previous twelve  months.  In the past year the City of Johns Creek leveraged Department of Energy (DOE) Grant funding by partnering with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and procured services to implement Phase 1 of the City’s Intelligent Transportation System. The scope of work for this phase of work consisted of constructing a Traffic Control Center (TCC), rehabilitation of seven cameras on SR 141 that had been installed in 2004 but never completed, conversion of the SR 141 signal system from serial to IP communications, and completion of the fiber work necessary to connect the field devices to the TCC.

The City of Johns Creek has served as the model for GDOT’s statewide mission as it selected to run a standalone version of NaviGAtor II. The City has been instrumental in providing the perspective of a local agency and has provided a solid foundation for future statewide NaviGAtor deployments

Dekalb County took home an Innovation/Outside the Box award, offered for any creative or unique approach or solution by an individual or group to an ITS-related challenge, or to a problem addressed through ITS during the previous twelve months. DeKalb County joined forces with MARTA and GDOT to implement a Transit Signal Priority System along Memorial Drive in conjunction with MARTA’s implementation of a bus rapid transit (BRT) system. The project includes the first queue-jumper lanes in the State of Georgia, along with traffic signal priority for buses at 27 signalized locations. Both local and express service is currently operated on the corridor. The queue-jumper concept allows buses, which are in a restricted travel lane, to receive a green indication at the traffic signal while other vehicles remain at a stop condition at the same intersection, thus giving the bus priority at the head of the queue.

Also receiving an Innovation/Outside the Box award was Fulton County for its Smart Transportation Corridor project on Cascade Road. The project, implemented by Fulton County Department of Public Works  included the deployment of an ACS Lite System and BlueTOAD devices (Bluetooth Travel-Time Origination and Destination) to provide real travel time information.

Cellular modem technologies in conjunction with Harden network switches and fiber links were used to establish communications with the signal controllers on Cascade Road and Fulton County’s Traffic Control Center. The cellular modem was an economical alternative to installing fiber optics and more expensive wireless broadband equipment. The Traffic engineer can now simultaneously manage and monitor each traffic controller using the latest IP addressable software and hardware applications.

Lastly, the State Road & Tollway Authority brought home a Project of Significance Award for the I-85 HOT lanes project. The award describes any project, study, or program undertaken in the previous twelve months with an impact that is quantifiable and directly related to a specific activity/action that reduces congestion, improves safety and security, and enhances mobility in Georgia.

The project has converted approximately 16 miles of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane system to High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. The project is located on the I-85 corridor and utilizes the existing HOV lane and infrastructure. The project limits extended from Chamblee Tucker Road just south of I-285 in DeKalb County and continues approximately a mile north of Old Peachtree Road in Gwinnett County. There is also an extension form I-85 North on SR 316 approximately 2 to 3 miles and ends between Boggs Road and Sugarloaf Parkway.

The major elements of this construction project include installation of the following:

• Underground communications and power service network
• 140,000 feet of fiber optic cables for Ethernet communications
• 52 overhead sign structures and gantries
• 35 horizontal and 15 vertical extension arms to existing structures for tolling gantries
• Fiber optic networking equipment in device cabinets and existing Hub buildings, including battery backup systems
• Wireless radio system
• Variable rate signs, static signs, pavement markings and rumble strips

This is the first project of its kind in the State of Georgia. The successful completion of this project will set the tone for future managed lane projects throughout the Atlanta region as GDOT continues to explore ways to improve freeway operations and maximize lane capacity for the growing population.

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