The Alabama DOT (ALDOT) is expanding its traffic monitoring system and making sizable upgrades to its app, in effort to reduce congestion and increase safety on state roadways, as well as minimize the negative impact traffic has on quality of life.
ALDOT opened its Traffic Management Center (TMC) in Montgomery in October 2016, at which time the center was in operation for 12 hours at a time, five days per week. Today, it is manned and operated 24/7 and 365 days a year.
The average motorist loses nearly a full work week, equivalent to 36 hours, sitting in traffic due of traffic incidents. Traffic incidents account for up to 25% of all congestion on the roadways.
The TMC, similar to others in the U.S., uses technology including traffic cameras and the Waze app to detect any incidents on the roadway and alerts police or other necessary first responders. It monitors more than 120 cameras along the interstates and major highways around the river region, as far north as central Autauga County, east toward Lee and Chambers County, and south through Dothan.
The camera network is also accessible on the ALGO App, which has just been updated to include several new features, among them the “Drive Mode,” which will give users audible alerts about construction zones, crashes, or any other incidents, so they can decide how to alter route avoid the incident, and not contribute to congestion.
The state is also heavily invested in improving its road and bridge system, as evidenced by the massive $750 million Downtown Birmingham Business District Interchange Project. TRAFFIC & TRANSIT editors were there recently; a video of that visit can be found here.