Drive Ohio And Turnpike Announce National Model For Work Zone Safety

Columbus/Berea - As part of Governor Mike DeWine’s commitment for Ohio to be a leader in transportation technology, DriveOhio and the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission (OTIC) have announced their participation in a project that will dramatically improve the way Ohio and Pennsylvania manage work zones and increase safety for employees and the travelling public.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently awarded a $2.69 million Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) grant to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation with the OTIC and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission as co-recipients for their Work Zone Reservation and Traveler Information System (WZRTIS).

The new system will replace the existing processes that are used by Ohio and Pennsylvania to improve and streamline coordination between maintenance crews, construction crews and operation managers in work zones. In addition, the system will generate accurate work zone information that can be utilized by drivers that incorporate smart mobility technologies in their daily commute.  

“When this project is completed, it will revolutionize work zone coordination and safety,” said Ferzan M. Ahmed, P.E., Executive Director, OTIC. “This technology will eliminate conflicts between jurisdictions, reduce congestion and increase safety by providing motorists and commercial drivers with advanced notifications before approaching work zones.”

“Our partnership with the Ohio Turnpike and Pennsylvania will make roadways safer as we share information to advance and deploy smart mobility solutions,” said DriveOhio Executive Director Jim Barna. 

The WZRTIS project was originated in the Smart Belt Coalition and will enhance work zone operations and safety by providing accurate, standardized, and real-time work zone information across nearly 41,000 miles of roadway through Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Smart Belt Coalition was formed in 2016 and is a strategic partnership comprised of transportation agencies and seven academic institutions throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

DriveOhio is the state’s center for the innovation, incubation, and implementation of autonomous and connected vehicle technologies—smart mobility—in Ohio. Getting this right is essential to increasing safety, enhancing mobility, expanding access, improving reliability, as well as attracting, preparing and retaining Ohio’s talent.

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