DOTD & Sasol implement first adaptive traffic signal system in Louisiana
Monday, November 20, 2017 at 9:54:42 AM
Baton Rouge – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, in partnership with Sasol, has implemented the first adaptive traffic signal system in the state in Westlake in Calcasieu Parish. The system helps manage traffic resulting from construction of Sasol’s petrochemical project, as well as other industrial activity in the area. It consists of six signals along the La. 378 corridor.

“The system adjusts the traffic signal timings based on actual traffic demand and helps reduce the amount of congestion. It enhances safety, reduces delays and shortens travel times for drivers, and it’s something DOTD would like to see implemented in many other areas across the state,” said Dr. Shawn D. Wilson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. “This adaptive traffic signal system is a technologically advanced traffic control configuration that will be beneficial to the traveling public who utilize this corridor.”

Communications are collected on a server at DOTD that runs algorithms to determine the amount of green time needed for each approach at each intersection, as well as the amount of time required to keep progression through the intersections. The new timings are instantly uploaded back to the controllers and are run with the next light cycle. The system continues this process, adapting to actual demand.

This $1.2 million system is only one part of the roadway improvements Sasol has made in the Westlake area. In addition to DOTD, Sasol partnered with the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and the city of Westlake to improve several other intersections with traffic signals, turn lanes, signage and striping, an investment of about $40 million in local infrastructure improvements.

“We recognize that construction of our project is generating additional traffic in the area and since the beginning, we have been committed to working with local stakeholders to implement mitigation strategies,” Mike Thomas, senior vice president of Sasol North American Operations, said. “Sasol is proud to have been part of implementing this technology for the first time in Louisiana.”

Sasol funded Louisiana design and engineering teams, Intelligent Transportation Systems LLC and C.H. Fenstermaker & Associates, to implement the system, and funded the equipment, construction and interface for the system. Sasol also coordinated the effort with DOTD, the Governor’s Office of Technology Services and the design team.

Interview with DOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson

B-Roll of system in action