Matt Hogan, Project Engineer in our Site Engineering [...]
ITS Services or Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) are advanced applications which, without embodying intelligence as such, aim to provide innovative services relating to different modes of transport and traffic management and enable various users to be better informed and make safer, more coordinated use of transport networks.
Although ITS may refer to all modes of transport, in our particular case it defines ITS as systems in which information and communication technologies are applied in the field of roadway transport, which encompasses infrastructure, vehicles and users to achieve traffic and mobility management.
Sain Associates was hired to look at the existing infrastructure in the Downtown Birmingham area along with sections of I-20/59, I-65, and I-20 to determine the best location and route for installing new infrastructure to support the I-20/59 reconstruction project in Birmingham’s central business district.
There were many challenges within this project, but our key focus was the relocation of main fiber optic trunk lines and a Hub Building. The existing main fiber trunk along with the existing Hub Building, which handles all communication between the City of Birmingham, first responders and ALDOT, were attached to or under the existing bridges.
Our main objective was to find new routes that could be installed prior to the roadway construction, so that all new communication could be up and running prior to the downtown bridges being removed. The magnitude of the roadway project and the amount of new ITS infrastructure were constantly being monitored to prevent interference with each other. Along with the fiber trunk line and Hub Building work, a wireless network was implemented to work in conjunction with the hardwired infrastructure as a redundant backup.
As an interesting fact, to my knowledge this was the largest ITS project designed in the State of Alabama to date. Sain was privileged to work with a team of project partners, which included the Alabama Department of Transportation, Volkert, Inc. and InLine.