Marianna- State transportation officials were staring to work on an Intelligent Transportation System, or, ITS along parts of Interstate-10 and Highway 231. Officials said the purpose of the system was to facilitate smoother traffic flow and better response to emergencies.
Workers began laying fiber optic lines at the Interstate-10 and Highway 231 interchange for the $24 Million Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) here in the panhandle.
The system will run along a 158-mile section of Interstate10 from State Road 87 in Santa Rosa County, to US 90 in Gadsden County, and 56 miles of Highway 231 from the Alabama State line to Bay County.
"We want to be able to monitor traffic in real time and respond to incidents in real time," Florida Department of Transportation Official, Ian Satter said.
He told us it would be similar to the system Bay County installed several years ago. He also noted, once it was completed, the system would include: 183 traffic cameras, 17 overhead message signs, 135 microwave vehicle detectors, 40 travel time sensors, three road and weather information sensors and eight highway advisory radios.
"As part of this project,” Satter said, “we'll be developing a traffic management center right here in Chipley. It will be located here at the district head quarters, and we'll be monitoring traffic along that stretch- about 1983 cameras that we'll use. The cameras are not in place as any sort of speed cameras- to catch people speeding. That's not what this is intended for."
Not only will transportation officials use the system to keep traffic moving smoother, it will also allow emergency personnel to better detect the locations of highway incidents, their severity, and getting first responders to the scene. The overhead message signs and highway advisory radios will also alert drivers approaching an incident.
"We'll be able to help out our emergency response as well and help people make transportation decisions along Northwest Florida. The project was scheduled for completion in spring 2015.