High-Tech Highway

by Brian Fortner, Contributing Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, VA.,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1999, Vol. 69, Issue 10, Pg. 38-41


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: The Virginia Dept. of Transportation has spent more than $30 million on the first 2 miles (3.2 km) of the planned 5.7 mile (9.2 km) Smart Road near Roanoke, Virginia. Eventually the road will connect Blacksburg, Virginia, to Interstate 81. But until it does, the first section of the road will serve as a world-class intelligent transportation system technology test bed. Controlled tests will be performed by the Virginia Tech Center for Transportation Research, which fitted the road with more than 12 pavement designs, 600 pavement sensors, 75 snowmaking towers for all-weather testing, and 60 different light towers. A 30,000 sq ft (2,787 m²) control center will gather data collected from the instrumented road via a fiber optic transmission line.

Subject Headings: Design | Fiber optics | Highways and roads | Intelligent transportation systems | Tests | Virginia

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