Create a strong System Manager role to focus accountability and clarify roles and responsibilities with multiple contractors.
Utah DOT’s experience managing the development and deployment of arterial and freeway management systems.
Made Public Date


Salt Lake City
United States

Intelligent Transportation Systems at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games: Traffic Management and Traveler Information Case Study


The Utah Department of Transportation contracted for several reports on the development, deployment, and operation of ITS in the Salt Lake City Region. CommuterLink is a network of traffic sensors, closed-circuit television, variable message signs, highway advisory radio, freeway ramp meters, internet information site, and other traffic-management and traveler information services, all of which are integrated into a Traffic Operations Center. CommuterLink’s purpose was to provide advanced transportation management and traveler information capabilities in the Salt Lake City area. The 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City added new functional requirements and a firm deadline for deployment.

This case study was performed to examine UDOT’s procurement and deployment efforts related to ITS in the region. UDOT followed a unique approach to contracting this deployment. The case study provides an overview of the successes and lessons learned related to configuration management, software selection, the system environment, staff and management roles in the development process, and meeting heavy system demand. This report presents findings from the ITS "Case Study" which primarily focused on deployment efforts before the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. A companion document, the Olympics “Event Study,” assesses how the CommuterLink system was used during the Olympic Games.

Lessons Learned

Create a strong System Manager role to focus accountability and clarify roles and responsibilities with multiple contractors.

Many of the issues identified during this assessment pointed to the need for an expanded System Manager role in this project. As was mentioned previously, there were a number of contracts awarded to yield the deployment of the CommuterLink system. The System Manager supported UDOT staff in the design and day-to-day activity of the project. The System Manager was also assigned Integration activity that was originally assigned to the Systems Integration contract. More could have been done earlier in the deployment process, however, to alleviate some of the issues that arose later:

  • Establish a Configuration Management system. Given that the System Manager contract was competed and awarded prior to the Systems Integration contract, this should have been one of the initial tasks.
  • Establish a more significant role for the Systems Manager contract. With a more significant role, the Systems Manager contract could have been planning and executing Acceptance Testing. This would have provided a more independent assessment of the system performance.
  • Grant responsibility for end-to-end integration of the system to the System Manager. End-to-end integration activity was a challenge given the overlapping nature of the Systems Integration and Construction contracts. The System Manager activity could have provided the necessary bridge between those projects if it were responsible for the end-to-end integration of the system. This would have transformed the “Systems Integration” contract into a software development and deployment activity where the software applications are one of many components to the complete system.

An expanded System Manager role might have avoided some of the uncertainties in roles and responsibilities. It would also have focused accountability for overall system performance within the scope of a single contractor as opposed to the multiple contracts in place.