Highway 16 in Saskatchewan is a primary east-west corridor used by travellers, businesses, mines, and the farming community. Located in a rural environment, the highway has low traffic volumes; however, the corridor between Saskatoon and Wynyard experiences a disproportionate number of accidents due to wildlife collisions and extreme weather events. BHP Billiton, on behalf of the SAFE Corridor Alliance, a consortium of industry partners and government agencies, wished to improve safety along this corridor, and retained Associated Engineering to conduct an assessment and develop an intelligent transportation system plan.
Project Manager, Jon Medori, tells us, “As part of this process, we completed a needs assessment report, which provided input to a functional requirements study. An important part of the process was the gap analysis workshop we conducted with key stakeholders from the SAFE Corridor Alliance.”
Our report highlighted four key intelligent transportation systems to support the goals of the SAFE Corridor Alliance:
1. Wildlife detection and management systems
2. Road-Weather Information Systems
3. Advanced warning systems at mine access roads and at the Highway 2 junction with Highway 16
4. Traveller information systems
Once we completed the functional requirements report, the project team proceeded to develop a conceptual design report which provided more detailed information on the key systems and identified supporting systems and improvements, as follows:
• Telecommunications and data management systems to send and receive data between field devices, stakeholders, and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure’s Data Management Centre in Regina
• Integration of the systems into the central Advanced Traffic Management System software in the Data Management Centre
• Intersection treatments at Highway 2, including left turn lanes on Highway 16 for eastbound and westbound traffic, a right turn lane for Highway 16 eastbound, and lane channelization.
Jon adds, “Following approval of the conceptual design report, we developed an implementation plan which prioritized the systems and identified a schedule for implementing the plan. We also developed a benefit-cost analysis to compare the safety benefits and resulting cost savings to the capital costs involved in deploying the intelligent transportation systems infrastructure.”
Staff involved in the project include Jon Medori, Keenan Kitasaka, Nancy En, Matt du Toit, and Michael Tolboom.