Ontario Construction News staff writer
Florida will be the first state in the U.S. to introduce a new state-wide notification system to increase safety on road and bridge construction projects.
In partnership with the Florida Transportation Builders Association and one.network, FDOT will launch a one-year statewide pilot program that establishes a new Lane Closure Notification System (LCNS) – the first of its kind in North America.
FDOT has started training staff and contractors who will use the Live Link application.
The one-year pilot will cover all planned construction sites across more than 12,000 miles of state roads in FDOT’s seven regional districts and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise. A soft launch of the LCNS technology was successfully kicked off in early June. A statewide rollout to over 500 construction projects is anticipated over the next few months and will be published to navigation apps such as Google Maps, Waze, TomTom, and Apple Maps as the mapping companies decide to utilize the feature.
The main goal of the LCNS is to improve the safety of workers by alerting drivers about active work zones or lane closures, so they can navigate work zones safely and efficiently. The system leverages GPS and mapping technologies to provide advanced notice to motorists approaching active worksites and lane closures.
Anticipated benefits of the LCNS include:
- Reduction in work zone crashes, fatalities, and serious injuries.
- Improved worker safety.
- More construction lane closures identified and tracked in real-time.
- Automatically share real-time lane closure information with travelers via third-party navigation application systems and automated driving systems.
- Improved travel time reliability and reduced congestion by informing road users about lane closures.
When using one of these mapping services, users will receive work zone notifications with the same technology that they receive other alerts along their designated routes, such as for incidents or traffic congestion. With the new system integrating into mapping services that drivers already use, the additional hands-free feature increases mobility and improves safety.
Information provided includes accurate beginning and end points of lane closures, temporary work zone speed-limit changes, and construction worker presence— creating increased safety for all, a better experience for motorists, and helping to keep construction projects moving forward.
“Safety is critical to the mission of FDOT. This innovative real-time Lane Closure Notification System is the first of its kind in North America and will be essential for improving construction worker and motorist safety in work zones across Florida,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E.
“We appreciate the opportunity to be the first in the nation to utilize this state-of-the-art technology and look forward to further collaboration with our construction, maintenance, and technology partners to advance FDOT’s safety goals.”
The technology allows work zone supervisors to use one.network’s Live Link smartphone application to geometrically map out lane closures and deliver near real-time alerts to GPS companies that will update drivers on any upcoming work zones or lane closures via smartphone navigation applications (e.g., Waze).
More apps will be added during the pilot, including Google Maps and Apple Maps.