ITS deployment completed on Latin America’s longest road tunnel


Spanish transportation technology developer and consultancy Indra has been responsible for implementing all the technology in Colombia’s new Túnel de Oriente; the longest road tunnel in Central and South America.

Regarded as one of the most important infrastructure projects in Colombia, the new tunnel is nearly 5.5 miles (9km) long and provides a key strategic link between Medellín and the José María Córdoba airport, in Rionegro. Together with its local partner, Eléctricas de Medellín Ingeniería y Servicios SAS (Edemsa), Indra has commissioned two control centers: a main center and a backup center, from which all intelligent transport systems (ITS), safety systems and revenue collection systems will be monitored in an integrated manner. The entire project has also benefited from Indra’s Mova Solutions portfolio, including the Mova Traffic, Mova Collect, Mova Protect and Mova Comms applications. The company has provided all the technology needed for the efficient operation and economic management of the Concesión Túnel Aburrá Oriente road corridor, which comprises a total of 15 miles (24km) of tunnels, roads, interchanges and bridges.

From the Mova Traffic suite, the Horus integrated traffic and tunnel management platform provides operators with real-time information and a single vision of everything occurring on the highway, helping optimize operations and decision-making. This includes variable message signage (VMS) systems to provide drivers with information in real-time on road conditions, the safe distance between vehicles, speed limits and any incidents. Horus also includes an Automatic Incident Detection system (AID), which integrates information from cameras and sensors, and automatically sends alerts to the control center in the event of an incident or emergency, reducing its time to resolution and increasing user safety.

The project also included the implementation of the communication, safety, and traffic management systems including: closed circuit television systems (CCTV), traffic counters, road signage, SOS posts, incident detection, lighting control, a loudspeaker system, and ventilation control with anemometers, luminance meters and opacimeters. In addition, air quality measurement systems and CO2 sensors were installed, which are able to detect high levels of toxic gases in real-time and automatically activate fans to expel pollutants. An innovative radio system enables georeferencing of the exact location of ambulances, firefighters, police and operation and maintenance vehicles in the event of an incident. The tunnel also has visibility sensors and an emergency and evacuation artificial lighting system, as well as power generators and backup power plants to guarantee supply for all safety systems.

Indra also provided the highway with its Mova Collect tolling system that includes manual payment systems and electronic toll systems, which allow the classification and passage of vehicles without stopping, at speeds of up to 40mph (60km/h). The free-flow system will help cut travel times between the Río Negro airport and Medellin from 45 to 18 minutes. The integrated back-office system will also provide the road operators with quick and secure management of toll collections and income tracking.

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.