Multidisciplinary engineering and infrastructure consultancy Parsons has revealed its role in the largest transportation project in Georgia’s history and the first to be procured by the US state’s Department of Transportation (GDOT) as a design-build-finance public-private partnership.
The Metro-Atlanta Northwest Corridor’s reversible express lanes have now been officially opened to the public and Parsons was the lead designer for the project, which included the design and construction of 30 miles (48km) of new reversible toll lanes, six new Express Lane interchanges, three new access points, and 39 new bridges.
The Northwest Corridor offers predictable, quick commute times with dedicated toll lanes flowing traffic inbound (south) in the mornings and outbound (north) during the evenings. According to GDOT, the Northwest Corridor is one of the Atlanta region’s most congested travel routes. With an anticipated 17 million trips per year, drivers are now expected to see shorter commutes in both the Express and general-purpose lanes. On the corridor’s inaugural weekday commute, the general-purpose lanes saved drivers approximately 60 minutes on commute time.
The Parsons team extended GDOT’s NaviGAtor Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) platform, which is a rebranded version of the company’s proprietary Intelligent NETworks (iNET) advanced transportation management software system.
The NaviGAtor ITS platform will assist GDOT in monitoring traffic, controlling messaging signs, and operating access gates. In addition, the Parsons team supported the Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) by providing the design/furnish/installation of the ITS network and the installation/configuration of Parsons’ iNET software to collect traffic volumes and enable dynamic toll pricing.
The company also trained first responders regarding incident management and response on this unique facility. Parsons’ transportation operations professionals trained nearly 2,000 responders representing more than 50 organizations, including GDOT’s Highway Emergency Response Operator (HERO) master operators who constantly patrol the express lanes.
Parsons has also recently been awarded a two-year services agreement to provide traffic safety engineering design services to the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). The firm has been providing traffic safety engineering services to NDOT for the past 10 years, and was the first company to deliver a design project through the NDOT Traffic Safety Engineering Department and helped the department to develop the original scope and best practices for this program.
Parsons will continue to provide design services for statewide projects that integrate safety engineering improvements to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries. The company coordinates with state and local agencies in alignment with Nevada’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan. The projects under the extended contract include design of roadways, roundabouts, pedestrian-crossing and access improvements, traffic calming, bike lanes, and street lighting.
“We’re proud to have successfully implemented all of Nevada DOT’s projects to date without requiring additional right-of-way, and we’ve kept projects on target for construction,” said Mike Johnson, Parsons Group president. “Our team is thrilled to continue improving traffic safety throughout Nevada, using innovation and technology to help people safely reach their destinations.”