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Beverly Hills, MI – The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) was notified recently that it has been awarded more than $12 million in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) grants primarily to be used to operate and upgrade its Traffic Operations Center (TOC).
The six grants will be available in fiscal years 2021, 2022 and 2023. The TOC is the nerve center for RCOC’s state-of-the-art “smart” traffic-signal system, known as FAST-TRAC (Faster and Safer Travel Through Traffic Routing & Advanced Controls). FAST-TRAC uses video-imaging vehicle detection to monitor traffic at approximately 850 signalized intersections and to adjust the signal timing at those intersections in real time to best accommodate the traffic present.
The FAST-TRAC system has been documented by third-party organizations (MSU and U of M) to reduce congestion and improve safety. It is one of the largest such systems in the nation and was the first adaptive traffic-signal system for arterial roads in the nation. At the TOC, RCOC engineers can monitor and control all the FAST-TRAC intersections including watching many of them on live video feeds that come into the center.
“The FAST-TRAC system uses the latest technology to most efficiently manage traffic,” explained RCOC Chairman Greg Jamian. “This is an example of how we are using technology to enhance the tasks we have always done. RCOC is recognized both nationally and internationally as a leader among local road agencies in deploying the latest technology.”
In addition to helping to fund the operation and maintenance of the TOC, some of the funding will be used to help pay for the cost of constructing a new TOC, which will be built at RCOC’s Waterford Township facility. The current TOC is located in leased space in the Oakland County Information Technology Building.
RCOC expects to break ground on the new facility in late 2022 or early 2023. “Constructing a new TOC will allow us to design the entire facility, ensuring both the building and the technology it houses are on the cutting edge,” Jamian said.
Five of the CMAQ grants are dedicated to the TOC. The sixth grant will help cover the cost of completing wireless communications between the FAST-TRAC signals and the TOC.
“The wireless connections between the signals and the TOC are another cutting-edge RCOC initiative,” Jamian said. “The system uses a dedicated cellular network that is much more reliable and less expensive than hard-wired phone lines.”
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