Illinois Tollway Shares Expertise On Safety Service Patrols Fiber Optics At International Industry Workshop
The International Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association’s annual Maintenance, Engineering and Roadway Operations Workshop is the place to be for industry professionals to take a deep dive into the tools and techniques that make roadway facilities more efficient, organizations better prepared and roadways safer.
The Illinois Tollway had two of its experts on hand at the workshop to talk about innovations related to safety service patrols and the use of rights-of-way to provide solutions to industries other than transportation.
Safety service patrols, such as the Tollway Highway Emergency Lane Patrol (H..E.L.P.) trucks, are a popular service to help keep customers safe whenever there’s an incident or need for emergency roadside assistance.
But keeping H.E.L.P. truck operators safe is just as important.
Mednis, the deputy chief of traffic and incident management, detailed how the Tollway has established policies and procedures to ensure the safety of H.E.L.P. truck operators when they’re assisting customers.
For every incident, operators must first call in to Dispatch to provide information on the vehicle stopped and its location. Dispatch makes sure the vehicle isn’t reported stolen or registered to someone who may be wanted or missing. Dispatch either gives an “all clear” or advises the operator to leave immediately while an Illinois State Police trooper is dispatched to the scene. Similar precautions are taken anytime a H.E.L.P. truck operator transports stranded customers.
The efficient use of resources is another way the Tollway adds value to the communities it serves.
Throughout the 294-mile Tollway system is a vast network of fiber optics that includes 2,000 miles of duct and 48,000 miles of fiber-optic cable that forms a critical backbone for the high-speed transmission of data to support tolling, information technology and smart technology operations.
Maulik Kholakiya, the project manager responsible for the Tollway’s fiber-optics network, explained how this fiber network is also leased to various utilities, internet providers, telecom carriers, universities and other government agencies. There are, in fact, more than 180 active lease agreements.
The Tollway continues to expand its fiber-optic network through its Move Illinois capital program as demand for digital technologies grows both on the Tollway system and in communities surrounding the Tollway system. These enhancements will continue to meet the Tollway’s operational requirements and create further revenue opportunities through third-party lease agreements.
The IBTTA Maintenance, Engineering and Roadway Operations Workshop held July 29 through August 1 in Nashville, brings together maintenance and facility operations professionals from around the world to share information on tools and techniques to help make roadway facilities more efficient, organizations better prepared and roadways safer.