KDOT Ready to Break Ground on Innovative Arterial Operations Center
Part of Kane County’s mission statement is to provide “innovative and high-quality government services” that enhance the quality of people’s lives without taking any more of their tax dollars.
Kane County’s Division of Transportation is about to take a step in that direction with the announcement that it will break ground this month on a $1.6 million addition that will house a new arterial operations center at its main office, 41W011 Burlington Road in Campton Hills.
KDOT Director of Transportation Carl Schoedel said Thursday that the center has the potential to use technology in smart ways that will improve traffic flow and save literally millions of dollars over time.
“This project is a continuation of the series of transportation technology projects that Kane County has made over the several decades,” he said. “These types of investments will help us gain more efficiency out of our existing highway system and will stave off the need to make costly highway widening improvements.”
The way the arterial operations center works, a control room with 10 monitors for camera feeds will allow KDOT employees to see what’s happening at intersections throughout the county. From the center, staff can diagnose problems such as a malfunctioning traffic signal or sensor, help monitor snow removal efforts and provide real-time traffic-flow information that officials can use in short-term and long-term decision-making.
The arterial center is designed with three workstations. Although around-the-clock monitoring isn’t expected right off the bat, there’s room to grow and adapt as technology advances.
The addition consists of a 2,800-square-foot ground-level floor and an equal-sized basement level with connections to the existing building. The ground floor of the addition will be used primarily for the Arterial Operations Center, and the basement floor is to be finished at a later time.
Eighty percent of the funding for the construction cost will come from federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds and federal Surface Transportation Program Rural funds. The remaining 20 percent is funded locally. The $1,647,956 contract was recently awarded to FBG Corporation.
What’s perhaps most exciting is the potential for technological innovation.
According to KDOT’s 2040 plan, implementation of ongoing and future traffic-management programs within Kane County includes expansion of the existing Advance Traffic Management System/Traffic Signal System network, centralized traffic signal control, the Arterial Operations Center, and demonstration of adaptive Traffic Signal Control.
That’s a lot of DOT speak, but in the future, roadway advisory information will be provided to various other agencies and roadway users throughout the Chicago region using “Kane County web pages, cell phone applications, e-mail subscription services, Travelmidwest.com and third-party commercial traffic information providers,” the 2040 plan says.
The county will also be able to monitor and adapt to unplanned/planned special events and coordinate more effectively with emergency responders to reduce the time and degree of adverse impact to traffic.
The long and short of it is, Kane County is smartly advancing to a time when traffic-flow solutions can be found through communication and planning rather than of having to add lanes to existing roads.
“In the long run, the investments we’re making now are relatively small compared to the cost of adding lanes,” Schoedel said.