Parsons to work on major ITS and tolling projects in Florida and Virginia

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Currently celebrating its 72nd year of operations, multidisciplinary infrastructure consultancy Parson has been signed up to provide its services on two major intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and tolling projects in Florida and Virginia.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Two has selected Parsons to provide final design services for an expansion of the agency’s freeway traffic management system on I-95, from north of the Jacksonville International Airport to the Georgia state line. The 17-mile (27km) long project will include various intelligent transportation systems and solutions, including archived data management, automatic vehicle identification (AVI), closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV), dynamic message signs (DMS), microwave vehicle detection, and road weather information systems (RWIS). The company will be responsible for designing the communications backbone for the traffic management system, as well as identifying and designing the individual devices required to fully cover the corridor.

“We have long been at the forefront of using technology to improve the capacity and safety of roads and highways,” said Michael Johnson, Parsons Group president. “We are pleased to bring our expertise to this important project on Florida’s key interstate highway, and we applaud FDOT’s commitment to advanced traffic management across the state. These efforts increase the safety and reliability of roadways for residents, visitors, and the business community alike.”

The company has also announced that it will manage the design and installation of the USA’s first all-lane, dynamic-priced tolling system on a 10-mile (16km) long segment of I-66 in Virginia, running from I-495 (the Capital Beltway) to US Route 29 in Rosslyn. The dynamic tolling system, which can adjust toll pricing as often as every five minutes, will operate in the peak travel direction during weekday rush hours, in order to alleviate traffic congestion into and out of Washington DC. Currently, this segment of I-66 is restricted during peak rush hours to vehicles with two or more occupants (HOV2+). These high occupancy vehicles will continue to travel the highway section for free, whereas single-occupant vehicles will pay a rush-hour toll based on real-time traffic volume. All travel lanes will remain free to all motorists during off-peak periods. Toll revenue will fund new and enhanced travel options that may include bus services, upgraded and expanded bike and pedestrian access, intersection enhancements on parallel roads, Metro improvements, and travel demand solutions and technology.

Announcing the project award, Johnson commented, “Managed lanes, tolling, and user fees are becoming a transportation infrastructure funding option of choice. Our leadership and innovation in advanced transportation management solutions (ATMS), including tolling, has made us a trusted partner for tolling operators and transportation agencies around the world. We are proud to lead the way with this innovative tolling solution for this important travel corridor inside the Capital Beltway.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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