U.S. Highway Administration targets border congestion with technology

To reduce delays at U.S. border crossings in New York, Michigan and Washington, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) awarded $256,470 for the use of innovative new technology that will provide information on wait times at border crossings and help manage delay by giving truckers advance notice of crossing conditions.

FHWA’s Border Wait Time Deployment Initiative is designed to accelerate the adoption of innovative technology, such as sensors, to measure delay and wait times at land border ports of entry. The program supports the collection and dissemination of real-time traveler information to improve the reliability of goods movement across these borders.

Under the initiative, FHWA will help expand the successful efforts at the Lewiston-Queenston and Peace Bridges which span the U.S./Canada border by providing $100,000 to the New York State Department of Transportation for its Niagara Falls International Rainbow Bridge.

FHWA will also fund technology at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel Crossing with a $95,920 grant to the Michigan Department of Transportation. Building on the success of the Evergreen State’s North Cascades Gateway, FHWA will award $60,550 to the Whatcom Council of Governments (WCOG) in Whatcom County, Wash., for the Booth Integration project. All of these research projects will use dynamic message signs and advance traveler information systems to convey the border wait times.

The projects are in line with the U.S. and Canada “Beyond the Border” initiative to improve the flow of goods and services between the two countries. In recent years, trucker wait time and unexpected delays have been identified as an impediment to the free flow across the border, and the FHWA has undertaken several research initiatives aimed at measuring border delays at major land-border crossings.

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