Better Roads

August 2013

Better Roads Digital Magazine

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The system will measure both the flow rate and water levels, and will create data to warn watercraft, ports and maritime officials of dangerous or changing current before they reach the bridge. "This type of critical real-time current information will be able to reduce the potential for barge crashes with bridge piers that have occurred in the past due to swift and unexpected currents," says MDOT. Barges receive the current data (wirelessly) allowing barge captains to determine the most appropriate crossing location based on current and water levels. In spring 2011, in separate incidents, barges crashed into the Vicksburg I-20 bridge and the Natchez US-84 bridge. In the Vicksburg case barges hit the bridge in high water conditions, closing the bridge to vehicle traffic for three hours and commercial river traffic for a day. The Natchez collision was five days later and the hit by the barges stopped vehicle traffic for two hours. In other IT work, closed-circuit surveillance cameras will be used both above and below the bridges. The under-bridge cameras will use infrared technology to monitor bridge conditions. Bridge cameras will not only monitor vehicular traffic but also river traffic. Vehicle detection devices will be installed to provide real-time traffic flow and other data, and detection devices will also be installed to provide warning systems for runaway barges Dynamic message signs will be expanded so that drivers have more time and more options in an area where enforced detours across the river can take hours longer than necessary if the warnings come too late. Highway radio advisory and fiber-optic communications will also be part of the project. Once installed all of the pieces will be integrated into traffic management systems already in place. A major goal is to allow for better traffic management and traveler information. Construction and maintenance work will also benefit from the new system by having access to more real-time information and by being able to inform drivers of pending and ongoing work. The newly installed technology will help owners detect deficiencies and also assess damage. It will also allow faster verification of problems and the faster dispatch of specialty crews to address problems. Each of the river crossings function as a subsystem, with integrated devices connected through a fiberoptic "communications backbone." The project incudes the integration of the system so that local transportation management centers and emergency operations centers get real-time incidence response and traffic manage- Pile Installation Recorder Was there really a time when augercast piles were installed without it? Optional Wireless Viewer Works with any rig and in low headroom. Everything you need to know for great performance, in the cab, in real time. +1 216-831-6131 Text INFO to 205-289-3789 or visit Text INFO to 205-289-3789 or visit Better Roads August 2013 17 BetterBridges_BR0813.indd 17 8/1/13 11:05 AM

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