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Below you can find the archived articles in DelDOT’s integrated transportation management program. For the latest updates, please visit the Latest Updates page.


October 2021

Use DelDOT Travel Information Like an Expert
Driver with App

You're driving north on I-95. Shortly before you get to the I-95/I-295 diverge, traffic slows to a crawl. You think, “Why are we not moving? What is going on up there? Is there an accident?” 

DelDOT has tools to answer those questions for you in real time. While you're traveling, the DelDOT App gives you the information you need. If you're planning a trip at your computer, you can use DelDOT's interactive travel map.

An Expert’s Experience

The experience of a DelDOT employee shows just how useful the information on the DelDOT App can be.

In May 2021, Chris Marsh, a manager at DelDOT, needed to travel from the outskirts of New Castle into downtown Wilmington for his son’s graduation at St. Georges High School. This trip typically takes about 20 minutes. Knowing that traffic build-up on major routes in Delaware is fairly common during graduation season, Chris opened his DelDOT App early to assess traffic.

He found out that there was an accident on I-95 northbound, the route he would ordinarily take. The DelDOT App let him see where the road was closed, what the variable message signs were saying, and what the traffic actually looked like on closed circuit TV cameras.

Most importantly, the DelDOT App showed traffic conditions on secondary routes. Chris used this information to pick his alternate to I-95. The alternate route had heavy traffic, but it was definitely better than I-95. "We left over an hour early for what is usually a 20-minute drive," said Chris. "We ended up arriving five minutes early."

As a DelDOT manager, Chris is an expert in use of DelDOT information. The DelDOT App and interactive map make you an expert too! They give you all the information you need to decide when and how to travel.

Know Before You Go

Driver with App
Driver with App

DelDOT’s Transportation Management Center (TMC) uses advanced technologies to monitor and control transportation facilities all over Delaware.

The Travel Map section of the DelDOT App is a small version of the TMC’s operations room in the palm of your hand! You can customize the map to see only layers of your interest.

Turn on the Travel Times and Traffic Flow layers to see how smoothly traffic is flowing through major roads and intersections. With this information, you can, as Chris did, assess congestion and delays before you leave and plan an alternate route.

The Traffic Cameras layer shows the live feed of all traffic cameras all over the state so you can see where traffic is backed up or check which lanes are closed for construction. Chris used the traffic cameras to see whether the congestion on I-95 was due to traffic volume or an accident. Having found the accident on I-95, he could choose his alternate route.

If you like to check certain cameras frequently, you can add them to your Favorites list.

The Advisories layer identifies locations that are affected by congestion, construction, incidents, and events. You can click on any of the icons to view detailed information.

The Partner Waze layer charts drivers' reports of hazards on roadways, such as objects on the road, potholes, or roadkill.

The Restrictions layer shows you the locations of scheduled construction that causes road closures and detours. You can even see how long the project is going to last. Construction and maintenance are necessary to keep our roads efficient and safe. Projects inevitably cause delays, but the DelDOT App tells you what you need to know to avoid the worst of the construction impact.

Stay Up to Date!

The DelDOT App can give you "push" notifications of incidents, construction, congestion, road closures, and special travel alerts within a certain radius of your location. Go to the Preferences section to turn on notifications and specify the radius and the notification categories you want.


September 2021

The Future of Delaware's Transportation Management System

To deliver a transportation system that keeps travelers moving safely with minimal impact on the environment and maximal return on investment, DelDOT needs to plan for both long-term and short-term improvements in the Integrated Transportation Management (ITM) program.

The ITM program enables us to monitor and manage traffic and transportation in real time. For a fraction of the cost of building new roadways, ITM investments optimize safety and efficiency. Integrated Transportation Management System (ITMS) devices are built to withstand all kinds of weather and can last up to 20 years with proper maintenance.

The 2017 Integrated Transportation Management Strategic Plan guides long-term decision-making. It has four main goals:

Wavetronics
ITMS Wavetronix
  1. Create infrastructure for transportation management
  2. Disseminate real-time, accurate information to enable travelers to decide when, where, and how to travel
  3. Develop partnerships to support transportation management
  4. Develop internal capacity for transportation management

 

The short-term implementation plan, which covers five years at a time, is updated every year. The current plan focuses on the five areas described below.

 

Adaptability

The ITM program is structured yet flexible, easily adapted to technological and environmental changes. The traffic engineering fundamentals remain the same, but the implementation changes.

For example, in the next five years we will continue to replace in-road ITMS monitoring devices with roadside devices. These devices can be more easily maintained without closing lanes or endangering workers.

 

Mobility Across Modes
water on road
Automated shuttles George and Jane

The ITM program is multimodal, meaning that it covers all kinds of transportation, from cars, buses, and trucks on the road to trains, airplanes, ferries, bikes, and pedestrian transportation.

DelDOT is piloting use of connected and automated (driverless) vehicles during this five-year planning period, beginning with an automated shuttle program. These vehicles can make travel safer and more efficient.

 

Clean Energy

The implementation plan focuses on energy efficiency through the following improvements:

  • Public transit and other multimodal options to reduce reliance on private vehicles
  • Traveler information to keep you moving as efficiently as possible
  • Incident management to clear roadways quickly after a crash or other incident
  • Synchronization of traffic signals to avoid idling at intersections
  • Intersection improvements to enhance performance of the traffic signal system and keep traffic moving steadily.

 

Cutting-Edge Technologies

We're also exploring the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI). A properly "trained" AI system can use traffic monitoring information to improve traffic flow, working more quickly and efficiently than a human operator could. For example, the AI system could "notice" that traffic is backing up at an intersection, find that the signal is not functioning properly, contact dispatch for repair, and send a travel alert via the DelDOT website, interactive travel map and DelDOT app—all in a matter of seconds.

 

Collaboration

A picture containing website description automatically generated

The ITM program integrates people as well as technologies. DelDOT staff collaborate within their departments, with other departments, and with external stakeholders including state and local agencies, public safety agencies, telecommunications providers, academic and research institutions, and a host of national and regional organizations and companies.


August 2021

Protecting You from Roadway Flooding During Hurricane Season
  • Q.What happens when a nor’easter or hurricane batters Delaware’s coastline? Or when there’s heavy rain in the area? Or when a full moon combines with a high tide?
  • A.We can get water or even flooding on Delaware roadways!

Water is a big threat to our transportation system. Did you know that Delaware is the lowest state in the country? That is, we have the lowest mean elevation. We are prone to flooding--which can disrupt transportation to the point that travel slows down even on roads that are high and dry.

To keep you safe in all kinds of weather, DelDOT uses data from a real-time hydrology monitoring system we maintain as part of an agreement with the US Geological Survey.

The 2021 hurricane season is in full force; it officially ends November 30. Download DelDOT’s app to stay safe and dry this hurricane season.

Never drive through water. It may be deeper than you think--and could float your car!

Each water monitoring station has a controller that communicates with a gauge, which tracks the water level at each location. The controller in turn communicates to a database server using a wireless connection. The data not only is used to inform the traveling public but also is stored for later study.

Currently DelDOT’s Transportation Management Center (TMC) monitors over 40 hydrology stations 24/7/365. Many sites are in Sussex County along the coast and bays, as well as near rivers and ponds. DelDOT uses an automated system to compare the water level to the nearby roadway elevation to determine the possibility of water on the roadway. The TMC publishes the information using our interactive travel map and the DelDOT app.

 

 

During storms or any other event that pushes water over the roadway, the TMC issues flooding alerts to the public using broadcasts on the traffic advisory radio (WTMC 1380 AM and 98.5 FM), social media posts and portable changeable message signs (PCMS). DelDOT will deploy the PCMS along roadways in advance of major rain events where the potential for roadway flooding and subsequent detouring is greatest.

 

water on road
Prime Hook Road at Cods Road.
Static sign with flashing beacons
At locations that are known to be prone to flooding, like Prime Hook Road, there are both permanent static signs with flashing beacons and virtual signs that automatically activate when flooding is detected. The virtual signs are displayed on both the interactive travel map and the DelDOT app.
Because water is such a threat to transportation in Delaware, we monitor water levels and predict flooding to maximize our response to these threats and to plan for resilience after major water events.


June 2021

Expediting Your Visit to the Beach

It’s beach season in Delaware! Summer residents and visitors are flocking to Delaware beaches. That’s great for both the beachgoers and the beach communities! But more travelers on the roads means longer delays.

Beach routes carry multiple modes in multiple directions.
Beach routes carry multiple modes in multiple directions.
Our Sussex Transportation Operations Management Plan (PDF) takes a deep dive into congestion on beach-bound roadways. If you’re a beachgoer, you won’t be surprised to learn that this plan deals with delays on SR 1, SR 26, SR 54, and US 113.

One solution is signal timing adjustments. All of the beach-bound corridors use an advanced traffic-responsive system. Our computerized signal system uses data from in-pavement detectors, from Milford to Fenwick Island, to measure beach traffic. As demand changes, the system automatically adjusts signal timings to better manage delays.

In adjusting signal timings, the traffic responsive system must consider many different factors.

  • The system adjusts signal timings to accommodate increased demand inbound to the beaches, outbound from the beaches, or a balance between the two. On a summer Friday evening, the signal system may favor inbound traffic, minimizing delays for vehicles going to the beach. When it does, it may not provide optimal conditions for vehicles leaving the beach.
  • Signal timing adjustments can’t add capacity to the roadway. They enable the signal system to manage capacity by spreading delay across each movement at an intersection. If SR 1 has a longer green, then an intersecting road has a longer red. That’s great—up to a point. But if we made drivers on the intersecting road wait 3 minutes, traffic would back up there. Some drivers would crash into waiting vehicles. Some drivers would get impatient and run the red signal. Important as it is to alleviate congestion for beachbound drivers, safety is our first priority.
  • Beach routes carry multiple modes in multiple directions.
    At the intersection of Camelot Drive and SR 1, pedestrians often push the button for the signal system to help them cross safely.
  • The roads leading to the beach are also used by pedestrians! Delaware’s transportation system is for everyone, not just drivers. When pedestrians need, for example, to cross SR 1, we must give them enough time to walk across. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which governs signal systems in every U.S. state, requires that pedestrians be allotted at least 3.5 seconds for every foot in the crosswalk. Crossing 135 feet from one side of SR 1 to the other can require over 40 seconds of side-street green time. That means less green time for SR 1. Safety first!
  • Signals are coordinated (or “synced”) on each roadway. As much as possible, the signal system sets signal timings so that vehicles that get one green signal will get a green signal at the next intersection.

Meanwhile, DelDOT Transportation Management Center technicians monitor the corridors for crashes, construction, and events that require human intervention. As necessary, they can manually change signal timings at one affected intersection or along a whole corridor.

We can’t make beach traffic disappear! But we can and do adjust signal timings to make delays as short and manageable as possible.

Beach routes carry multiple modes in multiple directions.
DART First State beach bus service runs daily.
You can do your part by using the DelDOT App, interactive map, and WTMC 1380AM to find out which roads are backed up, if you should adjust your travel time, and which modes might be better choices. It’s good to know your options in advance rather than, say, deciding at the split-off point to take US 113 instead of SR 1.

And remember DART First State. Put in your earbuds, sit back, and let the bus driver deal with traffic!


May 2021

Kent County Transportation Operations Management Plan (TOMP)

If you live or work in Kent County and wonder what DelDOT is doing about traffic, check out the Kent County Transportation Operations Management Plan (TOMP) . In this comprehensive look at transportation operations, you’ll learn about:

  • The transportation challenges Kent County faces
  • Current progress toward meeting those challenges
  • Visions for future transportation improvements

The report draws on mobility data to measure the current state of traffic. Engineers used travel time analysis, traffic monitoring devices, and intersection capacity metrics to identify congestion hotspots in Dover, Camden, and Northern Milford, as well as some borderline hotspots.

The TOMP report dives into the causes of congestion, which typically are high demand, inadequate capacity, or both. For example, the Firefly Music Festival brought 50,000 travelers in 2019 to Dover roads--a multiday spike in demand that required transportation management.

The report shows how hotspots will be improved by DelDOT projects that are already in the pipeline. It also makes short- and long-term recommendations to address problem areas.

image of kent TOMP coverp>DelDOT issues TOMP reports for each county on a rotating basis. The last one was in 2017, for Over time, TOMP reports highlight the work DelDOT is doing to keep Delaware moving.

Since its previous TOMP, Kent County has been transformed by a new parkway and a new toll plaza. New grade-separated intersections along SR1 improved rush-hour travel times and decreased the crash rate by 23%, despite a 14% increase in daily traffic. In addition projects that have added roadway capacity, innovative transportation management projects have also been brought online to make travel faster and safer. For example, DelDOT is underway with a major joint federal and DelDOT-funded artificial intelligence project that DelDOT applied for and was selected for.

TOMP reports can be accessed in the of the DelDOT website.


March 2021

Wilmington Viaduct ITMS Update

DelDOT has begun long-anticipated work on I-95 through Wilmington to repair bridges, ramps, and the road surface, and to update signage and lighting. The tools and technologies of the Integrated Transportation Management System (ITMS) have helped keep residents, commuters, and regional travelers informed as the six-lane freeway undergoes these needed upgrades.

graphic of TMC peopleITMS was part of the capital project from the beginning, and over five years of planning came to fruition on March 1st, when construction on I-95 started. In preparation, DelDOT’s Transportation Management Center (TMC) brought 218 of Wilmington’s traffic signals into the TMC’s computerized traffic signal system. DelDOT partnered with the City of Wilmington to upgrade signal controllers and hardware, install cellular telecommunication equipment, and update signal timings. Integration with the computerized traffic signal system allows signal timings to be adjusted based on data from ITMS’s array of information-gathering devices, helping travelers successfully navigate detours and reduce time spent in traffic. ITMS devices in the Wilmington viaduct project area include:

  • The Bluetooth travel time system, including 23 new Bluetooth detectors between I-495 and SR 141, that alerts DelDOT and DelDOT App users of real-time travel times
  • Wavetronix devices, including four new portable units, that monitor traffic volume, speed and delay on detours
  • An additional 26 traffic cameras that enhance incident detection and response

ITMS monitors and responds to the changing needs of road users and empowers travelers to make their own decisions by offering the public timely access to the same information the TMC uses. WTMC 1380 AM and 98.5 FM, DelDOT's traffic advisory radio station, is being used to communicate incidents on the interstate and connecting streets; the DelDOT App offers travel advisories, real-time travel times, and incident locations; the DART App, linked with the DelDOT App, provides transit users with real-time bus information; and variable message signs alert travelers to congestion ahead and balance traffic between routes on I-95, I-495, and SR 141. DelDOT also offers a comprehensive interactive map—that includes advisories, restrictions, and camera locations—you can even see live video of I-95!

These systems work together to help DelDOT and the City of Wilmington minimize the impacts of construction on our daily lives. For instance, Bluetooth detectors recently notified DelDOT of slowed traffic on Lancaster Avenue. Traffic cameras revealed an incident had shut down one lane. The TMC and the City of Wilmington worked together to adjust signal timings to adapt to the lane closure, see the results on-camera as they happened, and make additional changes as needed to get traffic flowing again.

This responsiveness is just part of what ITMS offers. Through coordination between DelDOT, City of Wilmington, first responders, and other stakeholders, the Integrated Transportation Management System is expected to continue playing a central role in the success of the revitalization of I-95 and the Wilmington viaduct.


January 2021

New and improved transportation management website.

We've updated our integrated transportation management program website!

screenshot image of TMC homepage The updated site is easy to use and full of helpful information.

  • The traveling public can learn about real-time information and reporting options available. Using these options will help you get places faster!
  • Transportation professionals can use the best available data to enhance your studies and project designs.

The interactive map and the DelDOT app use the same extensive data DelDOT managers use to operate the transportation system. You can not only find out how traffic is on your commute or trip to the beach but also understand the technology behind the data. You can report a roadway issue to DelDOT by telephone, by email, on the website form, or on the DelDOT App.

You can use the new site to learn about:

The integrated transportation management program provides a big-picture perspective on transportation mobility throughout Delaware by monitoring all travel via all modes of transportation. By monitoring the entire transportation system at once, the TMC is uniquely able to see how one construction project or traffic incident affects the entire transportation system.

In addition to our existing mammoth system of data and traffic control, we always have an eye on emerging technologies. Check out how artificial intelligence and other innovative projects can make travel in Delaware easy and safer!


October 2020

DelDOT-Wilmington Collaboration to Make I-95 Reconstruction Easier on Travelers

DelDOT is applying its integrated transportation management system to help the City of Wilmington mitigate the impacts of the upcoming bridge repairs on I-95 through the City of Wilmington. The project is critical: It will extend the life of heavily traveled bridges for at least another 30 years. Unfortunately, the work will also be disruptive.

Before construction begins in 2021, city and state forces are collaborating to bolster the resiliency of the transportation system for the trials ahead. Improvements to infrastructure and processes are being made to enable real-time monitoring of traffic conditions so that DelDOT transportation managers can alert the public of any issues and change signal timings to help traffic flow more smoothly.

DelDOT and Wilmington are following DelDOT’s three-tiered approach to using technology.

  1. Monitor. DelDOT is expanding its traffic monitoring system to cover critical areas in and around Wilmington that will be affected by construction. Technologies including the Bluetooth travel time system, non-intrusive radar traffic detection systems, roadway weather information system and video monitoring are being activated within Wilmington so DelDOT transportation management technicians have access to continuous real-time information.
  2. Inform. DelDOT will keep the public informed about traffic conditions in the project area using the DelDOT mobile app, interactive travel map, and 1380 AM and 98.5 FM radio station, WTMC. WTMC is a non-commercial AM radio station broadcasting in Wilmington, Delaware. It also broadcasts on FM radio at 98.5 FM.
  3. Control. DelDOT technicians can change traffic signal settings from their management center in Smyrna. However, Wilmington’s traffic signals were not on this statewide system. To make remote, real-time changes possible, DelDOT is connecting 219 Wilmington traffic signals to its central traffic signal system. Remote access to signal controls will save the hours it would take to send a technician to an intersection. DelDOT and Wilmington have undertaken significant planning and collaboration to make this upgrade successful.

As of October 8, 2020, the first 178 of the 219 Wilmington traffic signals have already been connected to the statewide system! These 219 signals control traffic along I-95 project detour routes and anticipated diversion routes throughout Wilmington.

graphic of TMC people Thanks to excellent teamwork, the process of upgrading field equipment, aligning city and state traffic signal settings, and turning the signals "on" in the statewide system has gotten more and more efficient. DelDOT and Wilmington will continue to work together to manage the transportation system for maximum safety and mobility.

 


June 2020

Transportation Management Activities During COVID-19

graphic of TMC people DelDOT has a full-time team dedicated to running Delaware’s integrated transportation management program. While much of the country’s workforce has not reported to work as usual, TMC staff has reported for normal duty to the Transportation Management Center (TMC), centrally located within Delaware. The TMC shares the same complex as the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and the Delaware State Police.

graphic of TMC people Our team members are proud to continue working around-the-clock shifts, helping Delaware travelers and all Delaware residents during these trying times. Following the state’s protocols for employee safety, we have successfully performed our normal duties during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We certainly would not call COVID-19 working conditions “business as usual”! However, our current activities are routine in the sense that we are following plans put into place years ago. Delaware’s Transportation Incident and Event Management Plan was initiated some 20 years ago and has been applied countless times. The plan categorizes emergencies into various levels, each with its own pre-planned, pre-rehearsed responses. Though COVID-19 is different from previous emergencies, TMC staff is successfully managing its impact using the plan.

Although traffic congestion has generally been down during COVID-19, managing transportation is still critical to the state’s vitality. We’ve also managed new traffic challenges unique to COVID-19:

  • We have helped with transportation of life-saving supplies, providing personnel, vehicles, and advice to emergency management personnel based on our vast experience with the transportation system. graphic of TMC people
  • When traffic congestion does occur, we manage it! TMC staff are the transportation system’s eyes, ears, and brain center. For example, when the governor ordered the Delaware State Police to check for out-of-state vehicles, we helped the police set up check points and manage incoming traffic.
  • As we’ve enthusiastically done many times before, we have hosted critical coordination efforts with other state and regional agencies.

 


April 2020

Success! Traffic Signals are Online.

Late this spring, with the rehabilitation of signals in rural Sussex County, DelDOT accomplished the long-standing goal of incorporating network technology to all of the state’s traffic signals. All are now capable of being remotely adjusted and systematically coordinated.

Since the beginning of the, integrated transportation management program Delaware’s vision was to give all of DelDOT’s 900-plus traffic signals the full benefit of technology by putting them onto the statewide computerized traffic signal system. This vision was officially cited as goal within the original Integrated Transportation Management Strategic Plan. The challenges of connecting the signals to the computerized system involved updating equipment and telecommunications. Providing connectivity to rural areas was a great accomplishment!

graphic of TMC people A key benefit of having the traffic signals online is that traffic signal timing changes can be made remotely from the DelDOT Transportation Management Center (TMC) in Smyrna. The TMC’s state-of-the-art traffic signal software integrates with other data systems such as traffic monitoring, incident management and—in the near future—transit operations.

Traffic signals affect most travel in Delaware. For this reason, the traffic signal system is the state’s single most effective tool for improving mobility. To optimize travel along corridors such as DE1, US 202, US 40 and dozens of others, DelDOT reviews and updates traffic signal settings frequently as part of a statewide traffic signal timing program. To manage traffic during incidents and emergencies, DelDOT monitors traffic real-time and makes changes as needed to manage fluctuations.

Beyond enabling remote adjustments, having traffic signals online also makes traffic responsive automation possible. When a traffic signal corridor runs in traffic responsive mode, the TMC’s computerized system monitors demand and adjusts signal timings to meet the traveling public’s needs automatically. As a result, countless corridors can be adjusted simultaneously, not needing a personal touch for each adjustment. This innovative application of technology frees up the TMC's team of experts to watch over the overall transportation system.



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