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U.S. Department of Transportation Awards WYDOT For Smarter Work Zones

Road Construction Sign

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced the Wyoming Department of Transportation was awarded a $1.5 million Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation grant.

The competitive discretionary grant will be used to create smarter work zones through connected vehicle programs. Through the Situation Data Exchange, WYDOT will be able to communicate directly to drivers about work zone hazards, such as reduced speed limits, width restrictions, delays and whether workers are present.

“The technology will give drivers a more transparent and accurate representation of what a specific work zone looks like on a given day,” said WYDOT Director Darin Westby.

The connected vehicle information will be available to third parties and will also allow for better defined work zones on WYDOT’s 511 traveler information tools.

“Once completed, the information will keep our employees and contractors working on these projects, as well as the folks driving through them, much safer,” Westby said.

The new system will add WYDOT to a growing list of states adopting the new Federal Work Zone Data Exchange standards. The WZDX gives both automated driving systems and human drivers better information to navigate safely through work zones nationwide.

Unlike most federal funds, this grant did not require a matching amount from the state. The grant includes funding for both program development and implementation.

This is WYDOT’s first SMART grant, but it also marks the fourth competitive federal grant WYDOT has earned in 14 months for a total of $65.5 million in additional funding for Wyoming infrastructure.

“WYDOT is always pursuing innovative tools and funding opportunities to better serve the people of Wyoming,” Westby said.

The SDX system was developed by WYDOT and its partner, Laramie engineering firm Trihydro Corporation.

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