Caltrans will replace its current traffic data capturing equipment to better collect information and digital images on the State Highway System, thanks to a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The $400,000 Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE) data grant will be used to update the department’s data collection program’s equipment and software, which help the department collect information along the State Highway System. This data informs traffic safety investigations, asset management, maintenance mission safety planning, local development intergovernmental review and many other Caltrans functions.
The grant will help the department collect more than 200 MIRE specified data points. Geopositional equipment will be used to collect horizontal and vertical, curve and grade data that are a crucial element in traffic safety investigations. Cameras will capture images to assist in traffic safety investigations, maintenance mission safety planning, access management and local development inter-governmental review.
This grant and the data it helps the department collect will improve efficiencies. For example, accurate horizontal and vertical, curve and grade data will aid traffic safety investigators in the task of assessing roadway design elements and provide the basis for future highway safety projects. These highly trained professionals also use digital images to review a location from their desks which may eliminate the need for time consuming field visits that cause investigators to be physically exposed to highway traffic. Using digital images for maintenance mission planning provides the ability to select safe locations to park Caltrans vehicles and establish project staging areas that minimize worker exposure to moving traffic.
“This grant allows us to procure the latest technology and continue to deliver top-notch research and results, so we can continue to improve safety for all who use the State Highway System,” said Malcolm Dougherty, Caltrans Director. “The new equipment will provide for a higher degree of accuracy and greater reliability.”
The collected data is required as a part of The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, the federal transportation legislation that was signed into law in 2012.