February’s top stories: Ricardo-AEA’s study, GRT’s road maintenance software

The European Commission has appointed Ricardo-AEA to lead major project for future urban transport challenges, Global Road Technology has launched new road maintenance software, while Transport Scotland has finalised £500m motorways improvement contract. Roadtraffic-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from February 2014.


Ricardo

Ricardo-AEA to study future urban transport challenges

The European Commission has appointed Ricardo-AEA for a project that aims to support cities across the EU in improving their transport systems.

The four-year study will develop a web-based policy support tool that will help city authorities assess a variety of cost-effective strategies to address key urban transport challenges like traffic congestion, urban air quality, carbon dioxide emissions, and accidents.

This policy support tool will provide users with quantified estimates of the impacts, along with costs of individual policy measures.

Global Road Technology launched maintenance software

GRT

Global Road Technology launched new road maintenance software (RMS) to help clients to manage their global assets.

The RMS is a real-time data management system that gathers customised data for the individual requirements of clients, and allows them to save nearly 37% on their road construction and maintenance costs.

The system also helps in the identification of logistical or spending inefficiencies, and offers large amount of data to be used at the decision making level, regarding infrastructure creation, budgeting and maintenance costs.

Transport Scotland finalised £500m motorways contract

Transport Scotland confirmed a £500m contract to build the new M8 motorway as well as to make improvements to the M73 and M74 motorways.

The contract has been awarded to Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), and includes the operation and maintenance of the project roads for more than 30 years.

The latest deal marks the first roads infrastructure project and the largest contract to be awarded as part of the Scottish government's £2.5bn non-profit distributing (NPD) model.

Austraffic's wireless technology cut tunnel congestion

Austraffic's bluetooth-based technology was selected by Victoria's Highway Department, VicRoads, to manage traffic congestion during recent tunnel closure in Melbourne; the biggest road works through the Burnley and Domain Tunnels since they opened.

Austraffic deployed BLIPTrack Bluetooth and Wi-Fi sensors at vital locations, and the data allowed VicRoads to assess the operations of a diversion route; to report on changes; and compare journey times.

The technology also enabled the department to inform and warn drivers about actual delays, on VMS displays as well as through the media, reducing congestion and journey times.

US opened $229.5m Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge

The US has officially opened the $229.5m Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge on I-70, the largest of 37 projects comprising the $700m New Mississippi River Bridge project.

The new bridge connects St. Clair County, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri. Construction on the project began in 2010.

US Transportation Secretary Foxx said: "This is more than a bridge, it is a road to opportunity for the thousands of people in Illinois and Missouri who have long deserved a faster and safer way to get to work and home again."

TomTom expanded real-time traffic service to Asia

TomTom has expanded its real-time traffic service to Asian countries of China, Taiwan and Singapore, to help drivers, businesses and governments better tackle the traffic congestion in the region.

TomTom Traffic offers accurate and latest traffic information for highways, major roads and secondary roads using OpenLR location referencing in 33 countries in North America, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

The service provides congestion forecasting which indicates whether a traffic jam is growing or dispersing, and also estimates the duration of the delays.

Flood diversion routes published online by UK councils

Elgin app

Councils in the UK are responding to floods by publishing emergency closures and diversions online, in a first-of-its kind initiative to provide information during a national emergency.

Somerset County Council responded to the national crisis by publishing the details on road closures on the web, while Stoke-on-Trent became first city council to tweet about the route diversions.

In response to severe flooding, Wokingham Borough Council in the Thames Valley area went live on 11 February.

UK Highways Agency began upgrade on M62 section

M62 Motorway

The UK's Highway Agency has commenced work on major technology improvements project along a section of M62 motorway.

The £20m pinch point scheme, which will involve junction 30 (Rothwell) and junction 32 (Castleford) in West Yorkshire, will improve safety and ease traffic congestion, while contributing to growth of local economy.

The project includes installation of electronic MIDAS loops in the carriageway for east detection of traffic flows.