Operations
Use Cases

Use Case:

Respond to Accidents and Other Events

Unexpected events can put your plans to the test. Anything from minor accidents to major catastrophes will require you to analyze events in real-time in order to save lives, reduce impacts and make the best use of available resources.

The top priority after an accident or other incident is to ensure public safety. Beyond that, if the road infrastructure has been damaged or an area becomes inaccessible, the local network will have to be adjusted with the least possible disruption to the region. Importantly, using big data and analytics allows agencies to more effectively manage and coordinate during an event, then conduct comprehensive after action reviews so that future events can be handled more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Examples

Georgia Department of Transportation: I-85 Atlanta Bridge Collapse

What Happened

On Thursday, March 30, 2017, a fire started underneath a viaduct on I-85 about six miles north of downtown Atlanta. The bridge collapsed at about 7 p.m. that evening.

GDOT's Response

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) responded to the fire by closing all five lanes of the highway in each direction, so that the area was emptied prior to the bridge’s collapse, then set up local and regional detour plans. The I-95 Corridor Coalition (The Coalition) supported GDOT’s travel information actions, while RITIS tools were used demonstrate how to monitor traffic conditions, evaluate performance impact and enhance collaborative decision-making.

Here’s how the event was managed and evaluated:

Provide Traveler Information

The Coalition updated their website to support GDOT’s regional traveler information efforts, as there would be substantial impact from detouring traffic around the closure.
Additionally, the Coalition publicized the TrafficView web site to let the public explore real-time data. TrafficView, powered by RITIS, provided views of area congestion and live accident and event information that, coupled with detour routings, allowed travelers to make more informed trip-making decisions.

Monitor Performance

GDOT used Trend Map was used to compare the congestion impacts on the day of the bridge collapse with the day before and day after. This helped operators understand temporal and spatial shifts in traffic. This intelligence information was used to adjust detour routings and signal timings to better manage overall traffic flow.

Estimate User Delay Cost

The User Delay Cost Analysis tool was used to identify a number of impacts the bridge collapse had on the regional roadway network, most notably the increase in overall delay and user cost increases.

Coordinate with other agencies in real-time

The Coalition stood up RITIS Meeting (a Situational Awareness Web Conferencing tool) and an open conference line for GDOT to coordinate the responses Friday, March 31st, and conducted “Mock exercises” to demonstrate potential future use by operators in real-time collaborative decision-making.

Auto-generated Meeting Log

After the meeting ends, all participants are sent a link to an auto-generated Meeting Log that includes:

  • Attendees
  • All notes made
  • Shared media/documents/website links
  • Any polling results
  • Final recommendations

To learn more about the I-85 Atlanta Bridge Collapse, see this presentation from the June 2017 RITIS User Group Meeting.

The Benefits

Using RITIS tools during the bridge collapse would have been beneficial to GDOT for:

PennDOT: I-276 (PA Turnpike) Closure

What Happened

The Delaware River bridge connects the PA and NJ Turnpikes, serving 42,000 motorists each day. On Friday, January 20, 2017, a fractured steel truss was spotted under the bridge decking on the PA side of the bridge, necessitating an immediate closure.

PennDOT's Response

PennDOT rerouted local traffic, aiming to minimize disruption to local traffic. During this period, local roads and three other bridges were burdened with larger-than-normal traffic levels, making it critical to monitor travel times, identify congestion increases and quickly identify when an incident occurs to ensure minimal traffic impact.

A Regional Traffic Management Plan process was put in place, and was being adjusted daily to respond to problems, so PennDOT’s Traffic Management Center operators had to monitor the effectiveness of its rerouting response.

They used the Dashboard tool to manage the regional impacts of the closure. Operators monitored area travel times during peak periods, and shared results with other agencies and their consultants at the conclusion of each peak period. This process helped to better mitigate the bridge closure traffic impacts.
PennDOT also used Trend Map to understand regional impact of peak period traffic to adjust their Regional Traffic Management Plan.

The Benefits

With Dashboard, PennDOT was able to:

PennDOT has used Dashboard for other purposes, such as the Papal Visit, work zone monitoring, critical roadway network monitoring, and more.

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