Below you can find the archived articles in DelDOT’s integrated transportation management program. For the latest updates, please visit the Latest Updates page.
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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
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.
Transportation Management Activities During COVID-19
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.
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.
- 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.
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!
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.