MDOT to deploy tech to reduce backups at Detroit tunnel

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

Transportation officials will be using tiny electronic devices to help monitor traffic congestion at the Detroit Windsor Tunnel and predict how to better manage traffic trends.

The Michigan Department of Transportation recently received a $92,920 federal grant and will be partnering with the Detroit Windsor Tunnel LLC for better management practices at the border and to tailor staffing levels to handle traffic.

The Bluetooth-, GPS- and cellular-enabled devices will help predict how much traffic will be coming through on each side of the border.

“The system will reduce congestion, maximize inspection agency efficiency and enhance safety by providing necessary crossing information ahead of time,” said Kirk Steudle, the state’s transportation director, in a statement.

Each device will be placed at strategic locations on the Detroit Plaza, the Windsor Plaza and on the Lodge Freeway (M-10) by Cobo Center and the Interstate 375 ramp to Jefferson, anonymously collecting data that transportation officials will study.

“We are pleased to partner with MDOT to refine and expand the use of Bluetooth technology to measure, report and reduce border crossing times and delays,” said Neal Belitsky, president of the Detroit Windsor Tunnel, in a statement.

The announcement of the grant was made June 3 in Washington, D.C. A deployment schedule of the devices has yet to be decided.

lfleming@detroitnews.com

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Twitter:@leonardnfleming