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    WERC-GATE
      Web Enabled Remote Controlled Gate Arm
for Transportation Enhancement
(patent pending)
     
Description
Features
Benefits
Installations
Partnerships

  Do you need to control certain intersections of traffic due to special events, weather conditions, or emergency situations? Would you like to improve your ability to save lives and money, when weather conditions make travel on interstate highways extremely dangerous? If the answer to either of these questions is YES, then  WERC-GATE is the solution!
   
Description
 
  The WERC-GATE combines cutting edge technologies, including real-time digital video, high speed wireless communication, and Internet application development, to provide an excellent solution to the potentially daunting task of freeway access control. In addition, the WERC-GATE has many potential applications beyond traffic control, limited only by the imagination of the user and the world-wide reach of the Internet.

The features of
WERC-GATE can be tailored several ways to meet the needs of the end user. If you would like to inquire on a particular application, schedule a demonstration, or receive more information, please contact: thomtech@thomtechdesign.com
 

  The WERC-GATE combines the latest technology with reliable hardware for enhancing traffic safety. Our newest innovation allows transportation personnel to monitor and control the closure and opening of highway intersections from a secured web site.

This enables transportation and security departments to control important avenues of egress for sensitive transportation systems during all types of emergencies.
 
Features
 
   

The baseline features of the WERC-GATE system include:

  • Transportation & Traffic Flow (Contraflow) Specialists.  Allows the user to regulate the flow and direction of traffic.
  • Closure and opening of freeway gates. This includes lane gates (to force drivers off the Interstate) and ramp gates (to prevent drivers from entering the Interstate).
  • Advance notification signs. The baseline system allows the operator to enable/disable up to 8 flashing message signs placed well in advance of the interchange.
  • Real-time Video Surveillance , which allows for visually monitoring the site in real time. Each gate is monitored by a surveillance camera with digital video feed to the web site. Cameras are available with pan/tilt platforms, which are controlled from the web site.
  • Wireless Technology. All devices are controlled via wireless modems. The actual intersection can be located up to 2 miles away from the control computer (line of sight).

The WERC-GATE system has a number of additional features.
  • Violation Detection , which will alert a dispatcher if a vehicle has driven around the gate. The system will also record a time tagged snapshot of the vehicle to provide visual verification of the violation.
  • A Report generator , which can be used to verify gate closures, violations, and other events.
  • The system can be custom designed to fit the needs of the end user.
     
Benefits
 

MN/DOT CASE STUDY
In a study done for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MN/DOT), the consulting firm of BRW, Inc. found a number of ways in which a remotely controlled highway access system could be of great value. The study area concentrated on the intersection of Interstate I-90 and U.S. Highway 71 in southwestern Minnesota.

The report documents potential savings attributed to a reduction in delays experienced by both passenger vehicles and heavy trucks. Based on Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) recorded by MN/DOT in District 7, the costs associated with a delay of three hours on I-90 can range from $36,400 during a low volume period up to $78,000 during a high volume period. In addition to a reduction in delays, cost estimates for a reduction in the number of accidents are also presented

Potential savings for accident reduction uses an estimated average cost per accident calculated to be $7,900 and is based on values currently used by MN/DOT to estimate accident costs. There are approximately 80 snow and ice related crashes per year on the segment of I-90 controlled by gates. A 5% reduction (4 accidents) in accidents annually will lead to an estimated savings of $31,600.

A severe snowstorm that struck District 7 in November of 1998 provided a good case study to compare costs for clearing a section of I-90 (with gates) and US Highway 75 (without gates). Based on MN/DOT's Operations Management System Reports from the day that both roadways were cleared to bare pavement (95% clear), a number of comparisons can be made:

  • Plows made four (4) passes before I-90 was 95% clear and opened, while ten (10) passes were made on Highway 75 before it was 95% clear.
  • For I-90, approximately $20 in labor and materials was expended per lane mile, while approximately $24 was expended per lane mile for Highway 75.
  • I-90 was cleared to bare pavement (95% clear) approximately four hours sooner than Highway 75 was cleared to bare pavement (95% clear).
 
 

This case study also demonstrated that with I-90 closed to travel there was less compaction due to travel, resulting in faster clearing times. Additionally, there were little or no stranded vehicles that interfered with Mn/DOT's plowing operations on I-90. There are further advantages that the study brought to light:

  • Gates provide a consistent and clear message that the road is closed.
  • Truckers are under a great deal of pressure to deliver their loads. The gate system provides the truckers with a clear and well-documented explanation for their delay in travel. Representatives from the trucking companies and the U.S. Postal Services frequently call the MN/DOT Districts to verify closures.
  • MN/DOT and law enforcement personnel feel they are less at risk with the gate system in place. This applies to closing and reopening the roads as well as working on the roads when they are closed.
  • Significant time savings can occur due to the fact that it takes fewer people to close a road and it is quicker to close/reopen a road. Finally, closing the road faster results in less snow compaction and faster cleaning.
 
Installations

Jackson, MN; exit 73 on Interstate 90
Rapid City, SD; exit 67 on Interstate 90

 
Partnerships
ThomTech Design, Inc.

The WERC-GATE combines cutting edge technologies, including real-time digital video, high speed wireless communication, and Internet application development, to provide an excellent solution to the potentially daunting task of freeway access control. In addition, the WERC-GATE has many potential applications beyond traffic control, limited only by the imagination of the user and the world-wide reach of the Internet.

The features of WERC-GATE can be tailored several ways to meet the needs of the end user. If you would like to inquire on a particular application, schedule a demonstration, or receive more information, please contact:
 
ThomTech Design
 
 
 
 
287 E 6th St
St. Paul, MN 55101
tel: 651-287-0249
fax: 651-726-2545 482-9469
email:  thomtech@thomtechdesign.com
 



   
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