5 Easy Steps to Design a Smart Work Zone
June 23, 2020 – We have all been in the situation where you’re driving down the highway, and you suddenly see nothing but brake lights ahead of you. Is there an accident ahead? Construction zone? What is the delay time? Should I jump off the highway at the next exit? The string of questions often leads to the not-so-hidden phone check under the steering wheel and the inevitable rear end collision. But what if your work zone could be updated in real time to alert motorists of delays to keep them focused on the road, prevent unnecessary accidents, and keep roadside workers safe? You should consider implementing a Smart Work Zone.
Start your Smart Work Zone with these five easy steps:
1. Understand Why It’s Needed – There are a variety of reasons why Smart Work Zones (SWZ) are essential. Not only do they keep motorists informed of delays and alternate routes in real time, but they also help reduce roadway congestion and increase safety for motorists and roadside workers.
2. Plan Your Smart Work Zone – A SWZ can be as simple or dynamic as your project requires. Is your project temporary and are you looking to deploy equipment that will get removed? Do you need traffic data and cameras 24/7 at your site? Will your area require notification display messages for motorists? Have you considered controlling your equipment with remote access? Once you start laying out your site plan, we can give you a variety of options from which to choose.
3. Learn About Equipment Options –With a variety of options available, we have something that will work for your needs. Below are some options for consideration:
- VARIABLE SPEED LIMIT TRAILER (VSL) – Quickly modify the posted speed limit within your work zone. This can provide a calming effect to traffic entering the area or simply provides a means to enforce motorists’ speeds within the work zone
- QUEUE TRAILER – Utilizing a Wavetronix SS126 sensor, this unit can provide speed, volume, occupancy, and classification per lane, as well as multi-direction.
- CONNECTED RADAR TRAILER – This unit provides a lower cost option for data collection within a much smaller lane configuration environment. Utilizing only K-band radar, you will receive speed information only.
- WORK ZONE EGRESS SYSTEM – There are different configuration options available using a Message Board and/or Static Flashing Sign combination synced with our Queue Trailer for a complete dynamic system, thus providing more efficient truck entering/exiting solutions.
- MOBILE VIDEO TRAILER – Utilize the camera that is a simple plug & play into your current video backend, on our standard AXIS Q6054E, or our CohuHD 4220 Rise Series for your pan, tilt, zoom, and project video needs.
- SMART DRUM – With a built-in digital modem, the Drum’s purpose is to provide data at the beginning and end of a lane shift or lane closure. This unit can be placed comfortably within the roadway and send back GPS data as to its location.
- CONNECTED ARROW BOARD TRAILER – If you’re looking to deploy a connected lane closure solution, this unit can be used in conjunction with the Smart Drum to simplify the lane closure process as well as delineation on a Google map interface specifically when and where the closure is taking place.
- PROBE DATA/THIRD PARTY DATA – Our partnership with INRIX enables us to utilize probe data anywhere within the US. Probe is a compilation of cell phone data, fleet management data, and OEM vehicle data. This concept provides flexibility within your work zone for data collection specifically in situations where you’re trying to work within budget restraints or location / deployment areas of concern.
4. Recognize Remote Software Advantages – All our equipment options seamlessly pair with our web-based software, HS Connect. HS Connect provides a secure website to remotely monitor, track, and control all equipment located within your SWZ. Not only does it give you the ability to view your data in real time, but it also allows you to schedule and automate your program for minimal supervision. Plus, having remote access prevents someone from having to enter a dangerous work zone to manually change a message or check equipment status.
5. Contact Your Support System – Need help deciding which direction to go or looking to get started? Contact our experts any time at 614-340-6294.
Safety is absolutely vital in all work zones, whether you are working or driving in one. Hopefully you have a better idea now what a Smart Work Zone is and why it’s so valuable to implement for all motorists, roadside workers, and traffic management companies involved.