Congressman John L. Mica (FL-7) announced on Wednesday that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has submitted a grant application to utilize technology to alleviate Central Florida’s serious traffic congestion. SR 441 through Apopka is one of six Central Florida corridors which will use high tech solutions to better synchronize traffic lights to mitigate delays on local roads.
The grant request submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation will expedite drivers’ commutes with greatly reduced red light stops.
"Imagine driving on Highway 50 from Ocoee to Bithlo or from the Orlando International Airport to Apopka on 436 with green lights for your entire route," Mica said. "Using this technology, we will be able to significantly reduce travel times for local drivers."
The initial high-tech corridors proposed are:
If approved, the project is expected to cost $11 million and take three years to implement. Smart signals technology will automatically coordinate traffic lights, sensing toll transponders and cell phones in order to relay the volume and speed of traffic to a central location and adjust in real time.
"It is unprecedented that all of Central Florida's municipalities and counties preemptively came together to support this grant proposal," Mica said. "Central Florida will be a model for the entire country with its adoption of these traffic management technologies."
In the grant, 27 cities and four counties participated.
The federal funding for technology projects, such as this, were made possible through a funding mechanism Congressman Mica included in the last transportation bill. Under this legislation, similar federal grants for the deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems will be available for each of the next five years.
With this application, FDOT and MetroPlan will compete with other communities for the opportunity to implement high-technology solutions to alleviate Central Florida’s transportation challenges. The U.S. Department of Transportation is expected to announce the awards for this program in the Fall.