FDOT Unveils Groundbreaking Statewide Lane Closure Notification System to Enhance Safety for Drivers and Roadway Workers
With the support of Governor Ron DeSantis’ historic Freedom First Budget, the Florida Department of Transportation continues to invest in further enhancements to increase safety on road and bridge construction projects across the state. While FDOT implements this record-setting budget, safety remains the Department’s number one priority, and is proud to introduce technology that not only enhances safety for the traveling public, but also for the men and women who are working on improving Florida’s roadways.
In partnership with the Florida Transportation Builders Association and one.network, FDOT announces the official start of a one-year statewide technology pilot program that establishes a new Lane Closure Notification System (LCNS) – the first of its kind in North America.
The main goal of the LCNS is to improve the safety of workers by alerting drivers about active work zones or lane closures, and aid motorists in navigating these work zones safely, timely, and efficiently. The system leverages the latest GPS and mapping technologies to provide advanced notices to motorists through leading GPS apps and services.
When using one of these mapping services, users will receive work zone notifications in the same manner (for example voice alert and visually) that they receive other alerts along their designated routes, such as for incidents or traffic congestion. With the new system integrating into mapping services that drivers already use this additional hands-free feature easily enhances the driver’s experience, increases mobility, and improves safety.
Drivers can now count on real-time and accurate work zone information through their preferred mapping app or device as these notices are put into the system by supervisors who are located on the scene of the work zone. For the background of how this works, this technology allows work zone supervisors to use one.network’s Live Link smartphone application to geometrically map out lane closures and deliver near real-time alerts to GPS companies that will update drivers on any upcoming work zones or lane closures via smartphone navigation applications (e.g., Waze). More apps are scheduled to join during the pilot, including Google Maps and Apple Maps. Information provided to navigation app providers includes accurate beginning and end points of lane closures, temporary work zone speed-limit changes, and construction worker presence— creating increased safety for all, a better experience for motorists, and helping to keep construction projects moving forward.
“Safety is critical to the mission of FDOT. This innovative real-time Lane Closure Notification System is the first of its kind in North America and will be essential for improving construction worker and motorist safety in work zones across Florida,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E. “We appreciate the opportunity to be the first in the nation to utilize this state-of-the-art technology and look forward to further collaboration with our construction, maintenance, and technology partners to advance FDOT’s safety goals.”
Overall, the anticipated benefits of the LCNS include:
- Reduction in work zone crashes, fatalities, and serious injuries.
- Improved worker safety.
- More construction lane closures identified and tracked in real-time.
- Automatically share real-time lane closure information with travelers via third-party navigation application systems and automated driving systems.
- Improved travel time reliability and reduced congestion by informing road users about lane closures.
FDOT has initiated training for the staff and contractors who will use the Live Link application to provide real-time lane closure and work zone details. The one-year pilot will cover all planned construction sites across more than 12,000 miles of state roads in FDOT’s seven regional districts and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise. A soft launch of the LCNS technology was successfully kicked off in early June. A statewide rollout to over 500 construction projects is anticipated over the next few months and will be published to navigation apps such as Google Maps, Waze, TomTom, and Apple Maps as the mapping companies decide to utilize the feature.
The Florida Department of Transportation reminds motorists to always drive safely and avoid distractions while driving. Remember to put down cell phones while driving. Florida law restricts motorists from using a wireless device in a school zone or an active construction zone.