NJDOT asks, "How can we alert motorists entering a one-lane work zone to the direction of traffic?"
- Roads were restricted to one-lane traffic while crews repaired the roads in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy
- Due to the large number of residential driveways, and the length of the overall work area, it was crucial that local residents could safely enter the work zone without having to guess which way traffic was flowing at a given time.
- NJDOT was concerned about traffic queues building up on Route 35 while individual driveways were given the right of way.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the New Jersey Department of Transportation was faced with a dilemma. Route 35 had been utterly destroyed in the small town of Mantoloking. Work was already underway to restore the heavily-traveled stretch of road, but traffic control was proving to be more complicated than anticipated.
Route 35 runs north-south along the shoreline, and acts as the main access point for many private residencies. During temporary traffic control operations, many contractors and residents were going in and out of the numerous driveways that were positioned in the middle of the work zone. It became very difficult to safely control traffic through the one-lane stretch with this heavy driveway traffic.
The work area in question featured 31 residential driveways that intersected the one-lane section. Placing a flagger at each individual driveway would not be feasible; not just because of cost, but also because of the increased cycle lengths and queues caused by holding the primary traffic phases on Route 35 while individual driveways were given the right-of-way one at a time. Another solution was needed.
Drivers in 31 residential driveways that intersected a one lane work zone were alerted of the direction of traffic before entering the highway. Wrong way driver incidents were virtually eliminated for the duration of the project.
Horizon Signal began to work with NJDOT and the contractors to further develop an idea that HST had been prototyping for a few years. The Driveway Assistance Device (DAD) was a perfect solution because it allows for simultaneous control of multiple driveways without adding any undesired cycle length.
A DAD was placed at each driveway, with a Horizon SQ3 signal operating the main traffic phases on Route 35. As traffic flowed, each DAD flashed arrows in the same direction, allowing drivers to join the flow of traffic. Drivers no longer had to play a guessing game every time they wanted to leave their driveway. The Driveway Assistance Device (DAD) In the end, the DADs ran for 13 months and were effective in managing the heavy volumes of traffic. This project served as a launching pad for the DAD, and it has now been used on projects in over 15 states, and is being officially tested under Experimental Use by the FHWA.
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Driveway Assistance Device (DAD)
New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT)
Residential Driveways, Route 35 - Ocean County, New Jersey
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The Driveway Assistance Device engineered exclusively by Horizon Signal Technologies has been designed to address the need to control driveways that fall within one lane temporary work zones. The system increases safety for both the motorist and the worker while maximizing traffic flow through the work zone.
The Driveway Assistance Device is a self-contained cart with a small footprint, which allows for easy maneuverability during deployment. The cart features a battery bank with onboard 110- volt charger and optional outriggers and solar charging system. Each signal is equipped with one 12” Red indication and two flashing red arrows which alert the motorist that one-way access is permitted in the direction of the flashing arrow.