ITS deployment in central and eastern Iowa

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) installed Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) along the I-35 corridor from Ankeny to Ames and along the U.S. 30 Corridor from Boone to Nevada to improve the safety and efficiency of traffic operations in the Cedar Rapids metro area.

As part of its ongoing ITS program, the Iowa DOT contracted with an Olsson/Benesch team to design the ITS infrastructure and fiber communications in these areas. The Olsson/Benesch team was also to provide construction administration services and complete final inspection.

The Iowa DOT uses ITS across the state to improve safety and efficiency of traffic operations and mitigate traffic interruptions from nonrecurring traffic events and planned multi-year resurfacing projects along primary corridors such as I-380, U.S. 30 and I-35 in the Cedar Rapids and Ames metro areas. To meet this goal in Cedar Rapids, our team designed an ITS network of 45 new pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, 49 new traffic sensors, and a communications network of more than 30 miles of single-mode fiber optic cable.

Our design team also helped the Iowa DOT develop infrastructure agreements with the Joint Communications Network (JCN), the City of Cedar Rapids, and the City of Marion that brought about cost savings to the Iowa DOT by using existing conduit, power supplies, and traffic signal poles. These agreements were especially significant as they allowed the Iowa DOT to complete a self-healing and redundant loop of fiber backbone infrastructure that would not have otherwise been possible.

The Ankeny to Ames corridor along I-35 has one of the highest commuter traffic counts in the state. Winter weather, other nonrecurring events, and planned special events contribute to decreased levels of service for this corridor and the U.S. 30 corridor from Boone to Nevada. For this project, the design team created an ITS network of 34 PTZ cameras, 37 traffic sensors, and a communication network of nearly 30 miles of new fiber optic cable and the use of 21 miles of existing Iowa Communications Network cable. The team also helped the Iowa DOT establish fiber sharing agreements with Iowa State University, the City of Ames, and Story County.

Justin Petersen
Discipline Leader
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