About the project
What is ITS?
ITS – the Intelligent Transportation System – improves travel and enhances safety using advanced information and communications technologies. Roadside sensors, closed-circuit TV cameras, and a roadway weather information system gather live data about conditions affecting the two bridges and traffic approaching them. Fiber optic cable and wireless communications software connect these field components to a traffic management center where staff monitors field conditions 24/7. Traffic operations staff displays real-time road and travel information for drivers on dynamic message signs and also may illuminate electronic arrows on dynamic trailblazer signs to direct drivers to alternate routes if traffic conditions on either bridge are heavily congested.
Information on dynamic message signs located on roadways around the US 41 Caloosahatchee River and Edison Bridges will help you decide whether to use one of these bridges or choose alternate routes that may help you avoid congestion, delays, or incidents. If these conditions are present, strategically placed dynamic trailblazer signs that say, “Alternate Bridge Route,” will point drivers to other routes using lighted directional arrows. ITS also uses 1640 AM to broadcast radio messages about incidents and significant delays in travel, and, during these events, drivers will see flashing lights on advance warning signs advising them to tune to highway advisory radio for more information.
Closed-circuit TV cameras
Highway advisory radio
Dynamic message signs
Dynamic trailblazer signs
Advance warning signs
Weather information system
Fiber optic cable
Traffic control center
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Where will ITS be installed?
Crews will install ITS equipment on Lee County roadways leading to the Edison and US 41 Caloosahatchee River Bridges, which are the focal points for this project. Work will extend north toward the Shell Factory on US 41 in North Fort Myers, west near the Pine Island Road/Nicholas Parkway intersection in Cape Coral, south near the US 41/Hanson Street intersection in Fort Myers, and east near the SR 82/Michigan Avenue intersection in Fort Myers. Drivers should use caution traveling through these work zones. People will be working close to traffic and equipment will be next to the roadway. When the project is completed, ITS components that help motorists make informed travel decisions crossing the Caloosahatchee River will be in place on the US 41 Caloosahatchee and Edison Bridges as well as on roadways around the bridges.
Crews will install dynamic messages signs for motorists driving toward the bridges at these locations:
· US 41: south of Del Prado Extension near Sabal Springs Boulevard
· US 41: north of Betmar Boulevard
· US 41: south of Stella Street
· Business US 41: south of Mariana Avenue
· Pine Island Road (SR 78): east of Nicholas Parkway
· Bayshore Road (SR 78): west of Daniels Drive
· Del Prado Boulevard: north of SE 22nd Terrace
· Fowler Street: south of Stella Street
· Palm Beach Boulevard (SR 80): west of Freemont Street
Motorists driving toward the bridges will see dynamic trailblazer signs on these roadways:
· US 41: south of Stockton Street
· US 41: south of Carrington Drive
· US 41: south of Touchstone Road
· US 41: south of Pondella Road
· North Tamiami Trail (Business US 41): north of Powell Drive
· North Tamiami Trail (Business US 41): south of Evergreen Road
· Pine Island Road (SR 78): west of Beachwood Drive
· Pine Island Road (SR 78): west of Herron Road
· Pine Island Road (SR 78): west of Woodward Avenue
· Pine Island Road (SR 78): east of SW 3rd Place
· Bayshore Road (SR 78): east of Crescent Lake Drive
· Del Prado Boulevard: north of NE 10th Street
· Del Prado Boulevard: south of Pine Island Road (SR 78)
· Del Prado Boulevard: south of SE 2nd Street
· Pondella Road: east of Pinecrest Street
· Pondella Road: west of River Road
· Pondella Road: east of Betmar Boulevard
· Hancock Bridge Parkway: west of Beau Drive
· Cleveland Avenue (US 41): south of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (SR 82)
· Cleveland Avenue (US 41): south of Edison Avenue
· Fowler Street: north of Second Street
· Fowler Street: south of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (SR 82)
· Fowler Street: south of Market Street
· Fowler Street: north of Franklin Street
· Evans Avenue: south of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (SR 82)
· Palm Beach Boulevard (SR 80): east of Evans Avenue
· First Street (SR 80): east of Hough Street
· Monroe Street (SR 82 / Business 41): north of Second Street
· Main Street: east of Cleveland Avenue (US 41)
· Second Street: east of Monroe Street (SR 82 / Business 41)
· Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (SR 82): east of Fowler Street
· Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (SR 82): west of Evans Avenue
· Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (SR 82): west of Cranford Avenue
· Victoria Avenue: west of Brevard Avenue
· Edison Avenue: west of Grand Avenue
· Edison Avenue: east of Central Avenue
· McGregor Boulevard (SR 867): south of Victoria Avenue
Motorists driving toward the bridges will see advance warning signs (1640 AM – highway advisory radio) on these roadways:
· US 41: south of Gran Via
· US 41: south of Littleton Road
· North Tamiami Trail (Business US 41): south of Pirates Rest Road
· Pine Island Road (SR 78): east of Andalusia Boulevard
· Del Prado Boulevard: north of NE 11th Street
· Del Prado Boulevard: north of SE 6th Street
· Viscaya Parkway: west of 13th Avenue
· Hancock Bridge Parkway: east of 12th Court
· Cleveland Avenue: south of Hanson Street
· Fowler Street: north of Morado Street
· Palm Beach Boulevard (SR 80): west of Marsh Avenue
· Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (SR 82): east of Michigan Link
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How does ITS work?
Traffic operations staff monitors road and bridge conditions 24/7 and displays real-time travel information to drivers on dynamic message signs. Knowing about current travel conditions allows people opportunities to choose the routes they use. If bridge traffic is light or moving well, if congestion is causing delays, if an incident has occurred, if fog is slowing traffic . . . drivers know what to expect. With ITS, motorists may avoid travel delays on the bridges and follow dynamic trailblazer signs for an alternate route. ITS also helps alert drivers to serious weather conditions ahead and prepares them to pay extra attention to roadway conditions and visibility.
ITS improves incident response and management. If an accident occurs on the Edison Bridge, for example, staff at the Lee County Signal and Emergency Operations Center will use a camera located on the bridge to see the incident and resulting traffic conditions. Staff immediately will alert law enforcement and emergency personnel – and also will relay information to drivers about traffic conditions and lane closures on dynamic message signs and on the highway advisory radio channel, 1640 AM. ITS reduces secondary crashes because drivers are prepared to slow down, expect lane closures, and anticipate delays – and, possibly, can choose an alternate route. Travel lanes reopen more quickly and normal traffic flow resumes sooner.
ITS enhances safety for everyone and helps move traffic more efficiently.
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Project team approach
The Florida Department of Transportation hired PB Americas and Traffic Control Devices as the design/build team for the Lee ITS project. Close coordination continues among the design/build team, Lee County Department of Transportation, Lee County Emergency Operations Center, and the Florida Department of Transportation. With design completed early in 2011, the construction phase (which includes installing the system and connecting equipment to the county’s signal and emergency operations centers) starts in March and is expected to finish in fall 2011.
Construction will be done in phases along roadways in North Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and on the US 41 Caloosahatchee River and Edison Bridges. Crews will install wireless communication components, underground and bridge-mounted fiber optic cable, signs and foundations, and ITS equipment. Different stages of construction require crews to return to the same work sites several times during the project. To minimize inconvenience to drivers and the community, activities involving lane closures will occur mostly at night/overnight from 9 p.m to 5 a.m. During these hours, work will be underway in several locations throughout the county. Public information staff is available to answer questions about construction activities and the project schedule.
For more information, please call the project HOTLINE at 239-281-7585 or e-mail Beth Zsoka, public information specialist, at info@ITSLee.org.
Media inquiries: Please call Florida Department of Transportation public information director Debbie Tower at 239-461-4300 or e-mail her at Debbie.Tower@dot.state.fl.us