Maryland DOT opens new traffic operations center

News AASHTO Journal July 20, 2006
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The Maryland Department of Transportation has announced that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. has dedicated more than a million dollars to open a traffic operations center in the Frederick area--the fourth such fulltime center in the state.

The dedication of funds, following the successful deployment of new emergency traffic patrols to aid motorists with disabled vehicles, was announced by the department on July 10.

The patrols already have aided drivers of more than a thousand disabled vehicles and responded to nearly 500 road incidents. They cover segments of I-70 and 270, U.S. Highway 15, U.S. Highway 340 and all major secondary roadways throughout Frederick County.

"The growth of western Maryland, particularly Frederick County, has increased the demand for additional highway services throughout the region," said Maryland Transportation Secretary Robert Flanagan. "By having these emergency road patrols on our highways and a central communications center, we are able to respond quickly to incidents, better manage traffic and help people in need."

Noting that there are more than 100,000 car wrecks on Maryland highways each year, Maryland State Highway Administration officials noted that prior to the opening of the Frederick operations center, staff was pulled from the SHA maintenance shop to assist with up to 90 incidents and as many as 400 disabled vehicles a month. With dedicated staff for such incidents, the maintenance group can return to its usual tasks--mowing right-of-way, patching potholes and making other roadway repairs.

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