The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and New Orleans Regional Planning Commission hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony recently to mark the grand opening of the New Orleans Regional Transportation Management Center.
The new state-of-the-art facility uses Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technology and regional coordination to facilitate better communication among drivers, traffic operations staff, emergency response personnel and other agencies in order to maximize the efficient use of existing roadways in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes.
“As Louisiana’s transportation needs have far outpaced our available resources, the center allows us to use the resources we already have to improve communication among motorists and allow them to make smarter, more informed decisions as they travel,” says DOTD Secretary William D. Ankner, Ph.D.
The 29,120-sq-ft center employs DOTD traffic management staff to actively monitor real-time traffic information on roadway conditions and distribute this information to drivers and emergency response personnel by using a variety of ITS tools including roadside surveillance equipment such as traffic cameras and vehicle detectors, Dynamic Message Signs, Twitter and the 511 Traveler Information System.
As a result, drivers can avoid traffic congestion by planning alternative routes, and emergency response personnel such as Motorist Assistance Patrol, police and firefighters can decrease the response time to an incident and clear lanes of travel more quickly.
In addition to housing DOTD traffic management personnel, the center is also home of the New Orleans RPC.
Construction of the $12.4 million DOTD project began in April 2008 and was completed in October. The project was designed by Sizeler Thompson Brown Architects and was built by The Shaw Group.