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Illinois DOT Deploys BlueTOAD™ by TrafficCast to Monitor Road Speeds on Eisenhower Expressway

Date: 07.22.2010

Illinois DOT Deploys BlueTOAD™ by TrafficCast to Monitor Road Speeds on Eisenhower Expressway

Bluetooth Detection Data Integrated by Delcan for Display on Overhead Signs

MADISON, WI July 22, 2010 – The State of Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has fully deployed BlueTOAD™ by TrafficCast to monitor travel times and road speeds during the resurfacing of the Eisenhower Expressway (Interstate 290) through the Fall of 2010.

Delcan Corporation, a leading infrastructure and systems solutions engineering firm, administers the IDOT Traffic System Center (TSC), and has integrated BlueTOAD Travel Times.  Through the TSC, IDOT communicates directly to drivers, through postings on overhead signs and the regional traveler information website, www.gcmtravel.com (Gary-Chicago-Milwaukee Corridor Transportation Information).  The IDOT TSC also supports road network management and congestion mitigation.    

Normally, Chicago-area road speeds and travel times are derived from inductive loop sensors embedded in expressways.  These are disabled for the duration of the Eisenhower resurfacing project. With its independent operation on the cellular network and flexibility in installation, BlueTOAD enables IDOT to maintain the communication of vital driver information throughout the project, when extensive congestion and delays are likely.   It is anticipated that the units will be redeployed on other projects when the Eisenhower is completed.

BlueTOAD combines advanced wireless technology with sophisticated data processing to directly measure travel times and route behaviors.   The roadside BlueTOAD device detects anonymous identifications used to connect Bluetooth technologies such as “hands-free” headsets and audio syncing.  The related BlueTOAD operating system calculates travel times by analysis of timestamps on subsequent detections in passing vehicles.  The BlueTOAD name is an acronym for Bluetooth Travel-time Origination And Destination. 

“The Eisenhower resurfacing project was a high priority, and we needed to help drivers deal with the expected congestion,” commented Jeff Galas, Manager of the IDOT TSC.  “This BlueTOAD technology plan came together quickly, and it works.  I’ve driven the route often, and the travel times are correct.”

“In supporting the TSC over the last dozen years, Delcan has seen IDOT’s commitment to expressway mobility and safety augmented through use of the latest and most innovative technologies,” said Scott Lee, Senior Project Manager for Delcan.” “The BlueTOAD travel time and speed data for the Eisenhower integrated smoothly with our ATMS, allowing IDOT to actively continue traffic management and traveler information services, even during a major construction program.”  

“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with IDOT and Delcan in the critical Eisenhower rehabilitation,” said Neal Campbell, CEO of TrafficCast.  “BlueTOAD has shown to deliver accurate travel times in difficult travel conditions, without the complications of cost, privacy and infrastructure impact involved with other technologies.”

The Eisenhower project consists of resurfacing 27 miles along I-290 from Thorndale to the Circle Interchange (90-94) near downtown Chicago, and from I-355 from Army Trail Road to I-290, located within both Cook and DuPage counties.  The work includes repairs to 37 bridge structures.  The project will be completed in one construction season, weather permitting in the Fall of 2010. Major traffic impacts to the traveling public are anticipated.


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