The Northwest Florida Daily News reports that there is new construction on the state’s Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) on Interstate 10 in Okaloosa and Walton counties Monday through Wednesday which will cause lane closures. State DOT Spokesman said motorists will see alternating closures affecting both eastbound and westbound traffic. The ITS includes 183 traffic cameras, 17 overhead digital message signs, 135 microwave vehicle detectors, 40 travel time sensors, three road and weather information sensors and eight highway advisory radios.
“We’ll be able to monitor I-10 in real time and be able to respond much more quickly to incidents,” DOT said. Construction crews will be installing foundations and support poles along the interstate that will support the ITS, a $24 million network designed to improve safety and emergency response times across Northwest Florida. It is expected the ITS will greatly benefit DOT crews when problems arise on I-10 in rural areas. ITS also will provide motorists on I-10 with more information about a variety of concerns including accidents, weather, construction and speed. The infrastructure of the ITS stretches for 158 miles of I-10 from State Road 87 in Santa Rosa County to U.S. Highway 90 in Gadsden County. It also extends 56 miles along U.S. Highway 231 from the Alabama state line into Bay County.
You might ask what are the benefits of the ITS system?
- Travelers are the primary beneficiaries. They will experience improved safety of travel, including reduction in fatalities, injuries, and the costs associated with crashes. Travelers will also benefit from real-time information that will lead to more efficient choices regarding travel routes and modal choices. For instance, informed travelers may decide to avoid congestion by taking alternate modes such as walking, biking, or public transit; by rescheduling their trip; or by taking alternate routes.
- Transportation agencies benefit by being able to see and respond to conditions on the transportation network.
- Operators will have the tools to manage the multi-modal system more efficiently, saving fuel, and reducing environmental impact.
- Organizations that engage in freight and passenger transportation, in particular, will find that the seamless, real-time information enabled by wireless communication between vehicles and with infrastructure translates into greater economic productivity, administrative cost savings, and profits. System and operational efficiencies will be gained through real-time information on system conditions, routing recommendations, vehicle diagnostics, and fleet and capacity usage.