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MCDOT testing out 'smart' technology to improve safety for workers, alert drivers

Posted at 8:20 PM, Jul 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-12 23:20:28-04

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Department of Transportation is trying out 'smart' technology, which they say will not only alert drivers about a slow-down, but county officials believe it will also mean more safety for their workers on the streets.

ABC15 rode along as the MCDOT employees boarded a bus for a field trip through a work zone to see the Smart Work Zone Technology in action.

Right now, sensors are located on MC-85 from 95th Avenue and 75th Avenue.

"It processes through a computer and then transfers that information to message boards to inform the driver before the work zone, while they're in the work zone, and as they exit the work zone," explained MCDOT Director and County Engineer Jennifer Toth.

That information would contain how long the construction is and how long the delay will be for drivers.

County officials hope this will keep drivers alert in those areas with the large signs to remind them that workers are out.

Plus, they hope it will encourage them to find an alternate route. With fewer cars on the roadway in these construction zones, there is less of a possibility that a worker will be hit.

The pilot program only has the sensors located in this one area of Phoenix. But, the county is looking at the possibility of moving it forward.

"We'll be taking that data... analyzing it and seeing if there are other places that we can use it," Toth explained.

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