Wyoming awarded $1.5M federal grant for technology project

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The U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) a $1.5 million Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation grant to create smarter work zones through connected vehicle programs.

The department will be able to communicate directly to drivers about work zone hazards using a Situation Data Exchange system WYDOT and its partner, engineering firm Trihydro Corp., developed.

Hazards include delays, width restrictions, reduced speed limits, and whether workers are present.

Third parties also will make the connected vehicle information available.

The system will better define work zones on WYDOT’s 511 traveler information tools, and will give automated driving systems and drivers better information to navigate safely through work zones nationwide.

“The technology will give drivers a more transparent and accurate representation of what a specific work zone looks like on a given day,” WYDOT Director Darin Westby said. “Once completed, the information will keep our employees and contractors working on these projects, as well as the folks driving through them, much safer.”

Once the system is operational, WYDOT will become the latest state to adopt new Federal Work Zone Data Exchange standards.

Thirty-four states were awarded grants. The grants do not require matching funds and include funding for program development and implementation.