Federal Highway Administration Awards $6 million Grant for Loop 101 Mobility Partnership
A newly awarded $6 million federal grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will advance use of technology to help drivers steer clear of congestion on the 60-mile-long Loop 101 freeway in the Phoenix area.
The grant was awarded by FHWA’s national Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment program to a partnership among the Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), the cities of Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, Peoria, Tempe and Mesa, the University of Arizona and Valley Metro to fund the Loop 101 Mobility project.
“As Maricopa County grows, technology plays an increasingly important role in keeping people and products on the move,” said Jennifer Toth, Director of the Maricopa County Department of Transportation. “This project will demonstrate how technology innovation can not only improve everyday driving but also improve how we manage congestion when our region hosts major events like the Super Bowl, the NCAA Final Four, Phoenix Open golf and Cactus League baseball.”
The grant proposal was also supported by industry members developing and testing automated vehicles and other advanced transportation technology because many automated vehicle manufacturers, including GMA, Google and Uber are already testing their vehicles on public roads within the Loop 101 Corridor.
“The six million dollar Loop 101 Mobility federal grant is a successful public, private, educational, and multi-jurisdictional level partnership. Working together and utilizing our existing infrastructure, we will engage technology to provide better real-time communication and service to those using our transportation network,” said County Supervisor Bill Gates, District 3. “Finding ways to more efficiently use our existing network will be vital to our residents, businesses, visitors, and all who use our roads as the Valley continues to grow.”
“Maricopa County understands that innovation and collaboration are key to our continued economic growth and success,” said County Supervisor Steve Chucri, District 2. “The transportation innovation that is being fostered here demonstrates that commitment to the entire county.”
"Maricopa County is the fourth largest county in the country and we are continuing to grow every day. That means more cars on the roadways and higher demand for an efficient and effective transportation system,” said County Supervisor Steve Gallardo, District 5. “The Loop 101 Mobility project will help to address the changing transportation needs of Maricopa County’s residents."
MCDOT and ADOT will be leading the partnership in designing and deploying the technology.
The Loop 101 Mobility project aims to address current challenges on the Loop 101 corridor by developing a system of traffic management technology to include:
- Decision Support System (DSS) - a network engine that can predict traffic conditions for congestion. Using real-time data inputs and the predictive model, the DDS can provide drivers with information including the best detour routes when slowing occurs due to crashes, disabled vehicles and other incidents.
- Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT) on Key Arterial roads – will be considered to adjust the signal timing based on real-time traffic patterns and congestion data collected from sensors on the road. This technology will be especially important during times when major events, including sporting events, concerts or other entertainment attractions, occur. The ASCT is currently being deployed on Bell Road, a key arterial corridor within the Loop 101 corridor.
- Connected Vehicle Applications for Transit and Incident Response Vehicles – will be expanded from the current Arizona Connected Vehicle Test Bed in Anthem to the Loop 101 corridor to enhance transit service and support incident response. The equipped connected vehicles will provide signal and timing messaging to be integrated into the DSS.
- Adaptive Ramp Metering Technology – Existing ramp metering technology will be enhanced by connecting it with additional vehicle detection so that the release rates at one location are coordinated with the release rates upstream and downstream in order to optimize flow onto the freeway.
- Integrated Traveler Mobility Smartphone Application – will be developed to enhance traveler information and exchange. Users will be provided with alerts generated by the DSS with information about crashes or detours and travel times. The mobile app suite also will assist users with physical disabilities to cross the street at a crosswalk or, for users looking for real-time transit information including schedule and location of connection points.
The FHWA’s Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies program funds cutting-edge technologies that are ready to be deployed to enhance existing traffic capacity for commuters and businesses.
The partners will also work to identify funding to allow construction of the Loop 101 Mobility Project to begin as soon as possible as part of the Maricopa County region's transportation improvement program.