The first traffic restrictions required for the installation of a first-in-the-nation pilot wrong-way vehicle detection and warning system are scheduled this weekend at the I-17 interchange at Indian School Road in Phoenix.
Preliminary work started in the past week on the Arizona Department of Transportation’s (ADOT) $3.7 million thermal-camera based project designed to immediately alert ADOT and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) if a wrong-way vehicle is detected along a 15-mile stretch of I-17.
Indian School Road will be closed in both directions at I-17 from 9 p.m. Friday to noon Saturday (Aug. 19) for the mounting of thermal cameras, installation of fiber-optic cable and rewiring of control cabinets in the area. Both I-17 off-ramps at Indian School Road will be closed. Future restrictions will be scheduled at other I-17 interchanges between I-10 northwest of downtown and Loop 101 in north Phoenix as the installation project advances over the next few months.
The system will use thermal cameras to detect a wrong-way vehicle along an off-ramp, initially triggering an illuminated wrong-way sign with flashing lights aimed at getting the attention of the wrong-way driver.
The system also will immediately alert ADOT and DPS that a wrong-way vehicle is detected while warning other freeway drivers in the area through overhead message boards. On the freeway, additional cameras will signal when a wrong-way vehicle passes to help State Troopers plan their response.
ADOT and its partner agencies, including DPS and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, continue to study other potential countermeasures to reduce the risk from wrong-way driving.
Source: Arizona DOT