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Obtain buy-in from on-the-ground staff to remain aware of potential effective, flexible solutions.

The summary report, from Washington County, Oregon, briefly discussed some key strategies that assisted in keeping weather solutions under budgetary and resource constraints.

Date Posted

Implementing Rural ITS in a Maintenance Environment

Summary Information

Rural areas often face significant challenges to implementing safety solutions. Remote locations and a lack of readily available power or communications can make it difficult to access and maintain equipment. Moreover, the low density of road traffic makes the rate of crashes or weather-related events to be lower than in busier areas, which causes them to be considered more extraordinary and reduces the absolute benefits of safety solutions.

Washington County, Oregon looked to identify low-cost solutions to existing system locations using the available toolbox of ITS technologies. It then developed high-level designs and refined them by reviewing current staff operations in response to events. Of particular interest was how smaller projects could replace a single larger one, in the interest of remaining within the county's limited resources and funding.

The key lessons summarized by the report were as follows:

  • Projects designed for full automation and functionality can be scalable and/or implemented in phases
  • Coordinate with resources and gain input from stakeholders
  • Obtain buy in from maintenance and operational personnel, as they can come up with ideas on how to do it better or less costly. Such employees also likely possess information that can make the project successful. The example given in the report concerned a floodgate system, and during the design process the county found that operational personnel were a good source of on-the-ground information such as identifying equipment and areas that would still be accessible in event of flood