Making 'Smarter' Roads

States are hoping to use federal stimulus money to add technological advancements to their streets and highways to create "smart" roads.
May 23, 2009, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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"At least 22 states have told the federal government they want to make their roads "smarter" by installing traffic cameras, creating express toll lanes, improving traffic signals and alerting drivers about accidents or delays ahead, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Such projects are "quick, they can move forward very fast, they create jobs and they're effective in the short and long term," said Jaime Rall, an NCSL analyst.

States are under the gun to tell the federal government how they plan to use $26.7 billion in federal stimulus money for transportation. They have until June 29 to commit half of that money to specific projects, so states are focusing on projects that can get started quickly."

"...But included in the mix already are dozens of efforts to use technology to make roads function better. The "smart road" improvements include signals for on-ramps in Colorado, new E-Z Pass toll booths to allow drivers to pay without stopping in Delaware and traffic lights connected to fiber optic cable to reduce bottlenecks in Utah."

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Published on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 in Stateline
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