Anticipate and plan for delays in deployment related to weather and the physical environment.
Alaska DOT&PF’s experience integrating a common technology into ITS and IT plans.
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United States

Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities: Land Mobile Radio System Phase I Pilot Report


In July 2001, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) developed a plan to integrate land mobile radio into its Statewide ITS Deployment Plan and the State Information Technology Plan. DOT&PF determined that the Project 25, an integrated voice and data of the Alaska Land Mobile Radio project, offered the best solution for its voice and data communications needs. This federal, state and local government partnership project provided the funding mechanism to deploy the network of repeaters, gateways and switchers necessary to provide seamless statewide radio operations.

DOT&PF conducted a needs assessment and received an FHWA ITS earmark. In partnership with Motorola, DOT&PF developed software to move data in the background and allow computing devices connected to the radio system to use the radio as if it were a modem. In conjunction with the FHWA, Alaska Department of Administration, and Motorola, DOT&PF beta-tested the software. The performance of the software was impressive. DOT&PF asked Motorola to make minor adjustments to the software and have the production version ready for release in December 2003.

Lessons learned include the need to manage for deployment delays due to institutional barriers (especially in a multiagency situation), or to weather and the physical environment.

Lessons Learned

Anticipate and plan for weather-related and other delays in physical deployment.

This project encountered delays related to weather and the physical environment. Weather conditions, for example, were a great concern. When a helicopter is the only way to get to the repeater site, weather can delay work for weeks. With repeater systems, high ground is the optimum location. Clouds are common around mountains however. Further, permafrost presents special challenges to achieving a positive earth ground for digital communications. Several sites required multiple wells drilled to find water to provide the ground. There are many places in Alaska where water is difficult to find. One site required four wells before finding water. In remote locations in the northern, eastern and western parts of Alaska, water may be difficult to find. The Department of Administration adjusted the final build out date for these areas from 2006 to 2008 in anticipation of the permafrost grounding issue.

Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities: Land Mobile Radio System Phase I Pilot Report

Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities: Land Mobile Radio System Phase I Pilot Report
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Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities
Federal Highway Administration

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