Mississippi Department of Transportation<br />ITS Response to Hurricane Gustav<br />Acey Roberts, ITS Engineer<br />MDOT T...
MDOT - ITSResponse to Hurricane Gustav<br />ITS Program Overview<br />Traffic Management Center (TMC) Operations<br />Gust...
ITS Program Mission Statement<br />It is the Mission of the Mississippi Department of Transportation to use ITS technologi...
               TMC Operations<br />
TIM Timeline<br />
TMC Emergency Operations<br />
GUSTAV TIMELINE<br />Monday, Aug. 25th.  TMC began full time operations of statewide TMC in Jackson.<br />Thursday, Aug. 2...
GUSTAV CHALLENGES<br />Communication Hierarchy<br />DMS Operations<br />Email Notifications<br />Staffing and Maintenance<...
GUSTAV RESULTS<br />Minimized Congestion <br />TMC operations model proven<br />Comparison to other Cities<br />Funding in...
Future of ITS in MS<br />Increase Efficiency of Roadways<br />Expanding Communication Networks<br />Remote Alternate Traff...
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MDOT's Response to Hurricane Gustav


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Presentation on MDOT's traffic management centers response to Hurricane Gustav evacuation of the Gulf Coast Region of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. Presented to Mississippi State University on 4/27/09 by Acey Roberts

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  • High level operations guideDiscuss our data received and Data transmittedDiscuss our interaction with law enforcementDiscuss planned sharing of camera views, no changes from the status quo, MDOT to control accessHow do we respond to requests from mediaTMC should make Traffic/Incident Management safer for the public and the DOT
  • Discuss Mstraffic.com and the access to the state wide camera systemUse of CCTV in TMC operations
  • VDS cameras and sensors used along Hwy 90 on the coastVDS data collection and reporting tool
  • Discuss the use of DMS messages in TMC operations
  • Walk thru a simulated incident with the ultimate ITS benefit being the reduction in congestion which reduces the overall time traffic flow returns to normal
  • TMC went live Aug. 25 2008 operating 6am to 8pm, operating the DMS signs to manage traffic through the Jackson metro area. On Friday, Aug 29th Gustav’s projected track required evacuations in LA and MS. This presented a major test for the MDOT TMC. Much effort had been put forth in planning normal operations but 24 hour operations were not fully established. With Hurricane Katrina still in the back of everyone’s mind MDOT was prepared for the worst. Much of the success of the effort is directed to the contacted operations personnel who were qualified and willing to complete the task.
  • The state of Louisiana saw evacuations on historical magnitudes. The AP estimated that approx. 2 million people evacuated from NO and the LA coastSurely this guy was not around during Katrina
  • 1) MDOT completed the first phase of a wireless communication network to replace fiber optic cable damaged during Katrina just prior to the arrival of Hurricane Gustav. As you can see had we replaced the underground fiber network MDOT would have experienced more damage to these utilities. During Gustav we only experienced minor repairs of antennas and equipement/cabinet repairs.
  • The hard rock casino scheduled to open in sept of 05 was forced to rebuild completely after Katrina did officially open in June of 07 only to have significant water damage to the first floors of the hotel and parking garage (30 inches).
  • Bay St Louis Bridge on the Western side of the MS coast closer to the landfall point
  • Nearwaveland on hwy 90
  • The landfall occurred on the morning on Sept 1 near Cocodrie LA about 80 miles sw of new orleans. The storm passed just south of Baton Rouge and caused the most damage to that city of any Hurricane. DMS locations shownDiscuss the placement of DMS signs and how they assist moving traffic through jackson
  • After much preparation and assistance from selected consultants, the TMC began officially operating the DMS signs for traffic mgmt purposes on 8/25/08. The same day Gustav formed as a tropical depression in the eastern carribean.As Gustav continued along the path to the US this week many informal meetings culminated in the actual preparations. As traffic picked up along I55, the experiences of Hurricane Katrina possibly helped coastal residents in MS and LA to evacuate ahead of the actual mandatory orders. MDOT TMC began 24 hr operations at noon with the expectations of contraflow beginning that night or the next morning. Contraflow officiallybegan on 4am Sunday aug 31 and ended at 5pm Sunday for I55 and at 930pm Sunday for I59.Operations continued in an emergency status until Wednesday at noon while still handling the onslaught of residents returning to the coast after the hurricane passed.
  • DMS locations shownThe TMC staff found that most agencies, MDOT, included were not clear how the TMC would fit in a Hurricane Evacuation scenario. The TMC functioned as a data exporter and as a data receiver, but not as a communications office or public relations arm. This was a specific hurdle as most of the MDOT staff was in the field prior to the hurricane and it was difficult for other agencies to reach their normal district contacts. As the TMC was staffed 24/7 for this event, the TMC began to receive calls and request for information that normally we would not receive. Due to the recent opening we were also not effectively communicating with all the other departments within MDOT (outreach). As MDOT TMC operators began to receive more and more information it became difficult to decide what to place on the DMS signs. When does information become too much information for the traveling public. The decision was made to place public radio frequencies on msg boards. This allowed motorists to find the public information radio station in the area so they could make informed decisions on shelters or lodging in jackson or passing thru to other cities northA normal part of the TMC duties is placing a traffic management email our to subscribers and on the website. This feature was suspended during the emergency operations and all public relations messages were deferred to the outreach division, unless asked to do otherwise by outreach or upper management. 24 hour operations staffing issues, worked out overtime for contract employees.Last minute agreement worked out with Lamar signs to include emergency messages on their digital billboard signs throughout mississippi, coast, hattiesburg and jackson. There was a request to install a camera at the MS/LA statelineweighscale in Pike County, MS. This would give a fixed view of the contraflow traffic during the event. With only a few days notice the ITS maintenance staff did erect the camera on an existing pole and provided access to the camera views through a web browser to MDOT staff and management.
  • Some of the positive results of the DMS signage and 24 hour operation of such is the ability to share information with motorists quickly. As we discussed in our TIM model as motorists have information they can assist with reducing the que of traffic waiting to get through an incident or through an event. With the camera views available motorists can view the Interstate routes home and along evacuation routes and decide to take other routes. The traffic returning after the storm through Jackson created similar congestion on the southbound lanes as the evacuation traffic before the storm going northbound. The jackson area experienced a crush of traffic as the nearly 2 million people tried to return to their homes the next day after the storm. This created essentially a 4-5 day evacuation/return event on a magnitude never experienced in Jackson before. At one point the return traffic was 2500 veh per hour, 125 percent greater than the largest traffic event ever recorded on traffic counters. TMC operators continued alerting motorists of any emergency information as well as incidents, congestion and road closures that may lie ahead of them.Thanks to the ITS manager Mike Stokes and the State Traffic Engineer Wes Dean, the work put forth to plan the TMC operations, using all available information from other states and experienced consultants paid big dividends during this hurricane event. Not only were we able to quickly implement emergency operations we were also able to simply scale up the operations model to include additional data and information from field agents and other state agencies and representatives. The overall operations plan used on Monday the first day was essentially the same plan used on Sunday just with some necessary tweaks to accomplish our overall goal to provide residents and visitors with information to provide a more efficient roadway system. An interesting comparison to Jackson during Hurricane Gustav was the city of Meridian and the MS Gulf Coast. These areas had a harder time processing traffic through existing gas stations and hotel facilities, I-10 along the MS coast was backed up as motorists attempted to go to Mobile. These routes were not Contraflow but were also without the DMS signs to alert travelers the traffic was not managed as well.Due to the success of the TMC, MDOT began discussions with traffic engineering to expand ITS elements along the Coast, Hattiesburg and Jackson and along existing evacuation routes.
  • Going forward ITS will continue to follow its mission statementAs ITS and highway projects are programmed, the myriad of communications systems will be expanded. Fiber, Leased lines, wireless.Remote traffic signal timings are planned to allow the ITS group to respond faster to changing traffic patterns, block off accident scenes and upload detour routes without leaving the office.Regional TMC’s are envisioned throughout the state, southaven, hattiesburg, gulfportEver increasing field elements to support the regional TMC’s, DMS, CCTV, traffic sensors (VDS, radar)Assisting with transit division to move urban and rural transit more effieciently
  • MDOT's Response to Hurricane Gustav

    1. 1. Mississippi Department of Transportation<br />ITS Response to Hurricane Gustav<br />Acey Roberts, ITS Engineer<br />MDOT Traffic Engineering<br />
    2. 2. MDOT - ITSResponse to Hurricane Gustav<br />ITS Program Overview<br />Traffic Management Center (TMC) Operations<br />Gustav Evacuation<br />Future of ITS in MS<br />
    3. 3. ITS Program Mission Statement<br />It is the Mission of the Mississippi Department of Transportation to use ITS technologies to improve the quality of life for State residents and visitors by providing more reliable, informative, safer, and flexible passenger and freight multi-modal transportation services. <br />
    4. 4. TMC Operations<br />
    5. 5. CCTV SYSTEM<br />
    6. 6. VDS SYSTEM<br />
    8. 8. TIM Timeline<br />
    9. 9. GUSTAV EVACUATIONS<br />
    10. 10.
    11. 11.
    12. 12.
    13. 13.
    14. 14.
    15. 15.
    16. 16.
    17. 17.
    18. 18. TMC Emergency Operations<br />
    19. 19. GUSTAV TIMELINE<br />Monday, Aug. 25th. TMC began full time operations of statewide TMC in Jackson.<br />Thursday, Aug. 27th. TMC began formal preparations for emergency operations.<br />Friday, Aug 29th. MS orders partial evacuation orders.<br />Saturday, Aug. 30th. TMC began 24 hour operations in response to evacuations and contraflow.<br />Sunday, Aug. 31st. Gustav enters Gulf as a Cat 3. Expectations are for a Cat 5 for the US coast.<br />Wednesday, Sept. 3rd. TMC ended 24 hour operations while still handling massive return traffic volume.<br />
    20. 20. GUSTAV CHALLENGES<br />Communication Hierarchy<br />DMS Operations<br />Email Notifications<br />Staffing and Maintenance<br />Special Requests<br />
    21. 21. GUSTAV RESULTS<br />Minimized Congestion <br />TMC operations model proven<br />Comparison to other Cities<br />Funding increased<br />
    22. 22. Future of ITS in MS<br />Increase Efficiency of Roadways<br />Expanding Communication Networks<br />Remote Alternate Traffic Signal Timings<br />Traffic Management Centers <br />Increase ITS field elements <br />Transit Improvements<br />