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U.S. Department of Transportation awards $12 million grant to Oregon's Smart Mobility Network

PHOTO BY JAIME VALDEZ - Eliot Rose from Metro offers his plan for congestion at the Greater Portland Tech Challenge at Daimler Trucks North America LLC in North Portland.

Oregon's rural-urban smart network is attracting attention in D.C.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has awarded a $12 million Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) grant to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) for its Oregon Smart Mobility Network.

"These highly innovative projects offer high-tech solutions to relieve congestion and improve safety and efficiency on the nation's highways," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

ODOT's Smart Mobility Network uses smart technologies statewide in both urban and rural regions to ease the impacts of rapid growth, guide infrastructure investments, and promote optimal mobility for all modes.

The project uses 30 smart technologies, including advanced traveler information systems and infrastructure maintenance, monitoring, and condition assessment to create an integrated and cohesive transportation planning and management program in Oregon serving all modes.

"This $12 million grant will provide significant improvements in technology to create better travel experiences for Oregonians thanks to the cooperation of private sector partners, ODOT, Oregon State Police, Metro, TriMet, Cities of Portland, Bend and Gresham and Washington and Multnomah counties," said ODOT spokesperson Jyll Smith.

Smith answered more of the Business Tribune's question by e-mail.

BT: What are the 30 technologies?

ODOT: There are 17 different technologies that will be deployed in Oregon; Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures (ATSPMs), automatic traffic recordings, bicycle and pedestrian counters, Bluetooth travel time systems, CCTV camera monitoring systems, road and weather decision support, adaptive pedestrian safety systems, adaptive ramp metering, dynamic speed systems, freight signal priority, queue warning systems, road weather information dissemination, Signal Phase and Timing - Connected Vehicles, dynamic routing, traffic signal battery backup systems, red light running crash mitigation systems, UAS crash reconstruction systems.

BT: Are any private companies supplying products and services (Freightliner etc.)?

ODOT: Some private companies will be providing products to this effort and some will be providing products and services. For example, Intelight has a price agreement contract with ODOT for the supply traffic signal controllers and traffic signal software. ODOT and local agencies in the Portland area also use TransCore's central traffic signal software. Both companies will need to be involved with the Next Generation Transit Signal Priority project with TriMet to integrate the central transit software with ODOT and local agency's central traffic signal software. Daimler Freightliner has been testing their autonomous trucks in Oregon for some time and ODOT has a relationship with them.

BT: Which states are interested in emulating Oregon?

ODOT: We do not know at this time. However, given our extensive involvement in FHWA Peer Exchanges we anticipate different agencies will be interested in how these technologies are rolled out and working.

BT: Will the bulk of the new tech be in Portland?

ODOT: Yes, the majority of the projects are in the Portland metro area. There are two projects in Central Oregon in and around Bend however.

BT: When will we see the first ones deployed?

ODOT: We do not have a schedule in place yet for when the first projects will be deployed. We will be meeting with FHWA soon and developing the schedules.

"These technological tools are helping to support a transportation system that is equipped for the future," said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Brandye L. Hendrickson.

FHWA's ATCMTD program funds early deployments of cutting-edge technologies that can serve as national models to improve travel for commuters and businesses. This year, the program funded 10 projects valued at $53 million that range from advanced real-time traveler information to Integrated Corridor Management and vehicle communications technologies, paving the way for connected and autonomous vehicles and congestion-relieving traffic management systems.

The ATCMTD program was established under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. State departments of transportation, local governments, transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, and other eligible entities were invited to apply under the program.

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