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VDOT awarded $4.5 million in federal grants

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) was recently awarded two federal grants totaling more than $4.5 million to enhance safety, improve congestion and incident management, and predict parking availability.

“With these grant awards, the federal government recognizes the commonwealth’s commitment to developing innovative solutions to transportation challenges,” Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine said. “These funds will support research and technology to improve safety, decision-making, and quality of life in Virginia.”

• An Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), valued at $4.35 million, was awarded to VDOT for its Artificial Intelligence (AI) Meets Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) project. The funding will expand two programs in northern Virginia to:

1. Deploy Predictive Parking Availability Information Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) – This effort will add innovation to an already-planned, value-pricing parking project along the Interstate 95 corridor in northern Virginia and Fredericksburg. The parking tool will use a combination of historical data, real-time parking data samples, and crowd-sourcing information to predict parking availability.

2. Expand the Decision Support System of RM3P to Fredericksburg – This grant will provide funding to expand the decision support system currently in development for the Northern Virginia Regional Multi-Modal Management Program (RM3P), employing advanced machine-learning techniques and artificial intelligence to recommend incident and congestion management responses based on real-time conditions along the I-95 corridor, into Stafford County, Spotsylvania County, and the City of Fredericksburg.

• VDOT was also awarded $232,500 from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) through its Safety Data Initiative to develop a systemic safety analysis tool, which will identify and visualize locations with higher safety risks that would benefit from eight low-cost roadway safety countermeasures that could then be implemented at other sites with similar roadway features.

Innovation is a key focus of the Secretary of Transportation and key commitment in VDOT’s Business Plan. VDOT operates the nation’s third largest state-maintained highway system, managing and maintaining more than 57,000 miles of roadway.