In May 2002, the North Carolina DOT (NCDOT) implemented its first smart work zone system along I-95 near Fayetteville. The smart work zone system was deployed to monitor and manage traffic congestion due to work zones. The system consisted of six speed sensors, eight changeable message signs (CMS) (two were used on alternate routes), six pan-tilt-zoom cameras (three in each direction), a command center, one laptop, and a dedicated project website. The cameras were used to gather additional real-time data on congestion and to confirm the messages displayed on the signs without traveling to the work site. The publicly available website provided camera images, travel speed, and delay messages. The speed sensors captured vehicle speed and volume data which was transmitted to the on-site laptop via satellite communication. Delay information (i.e., delay in minutes, current date and time) was calculated and automatically displayed in real-time on the CMS. When a pre-determined threshold was reached, the message was changed to provide travelers with alternate route information.
The NCDOT leased the I-95 smart work zone system. The lease consisted of three contract pay items: mobilization, monthly rental, and remobilization. The successful bid was guaranteed for four months usage not to exceed 10 months. The total bid was $235,000 with a breakout as follows:
Monthly rental: $15,000 (for the equipment)
The total cost of a smart work zone system depends on several factors, as noted by NCDOT experience:
- How much equipment is required for monitoring
- How long and the duration of the work zone, and if both directions require simultaneous monitoring
- What type of communication technology is used/required (e.g., radio, cellular, microwave, or satellite)
- How complex is the system (e.g., software, communications)
In addition to the Fayetteville smart work zone deployment, NCDOT deployed four other smart work zone systems: three along I-95 near Rocky Mount, Kenly, and Four Oaks, and one along I-85 near Charlotte. Theses systems were also contracted/leased from specific vendors.
“ITS In Work Zones: Traveler Information and a Whole Lot More” Tracy Scriba, presentation at the 2002 World Congress on ITS, October 14 – 17, 2002, Chicago, IL.
Presentation, "Essential Elements of a SMARTZONE Contract," by Steve Kite, NC DOT, at theITS in Work Zones Workshop and Peer Exchange, 12-13 September 2005, St. Loius, Missouri
SMART Work Zones: Technology for Work Zone Management - Making Work Zones Work Better Through Innovations in Technologies, Practices, and Products (Presentation)
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Total contract cost: $235,000.