Using $2.5 million in federal funds, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced that it will install a series of traffic monitoring cameras at 47 site locations along highways in the greater Tulsa area.
The new cameras will expand on the current 54-camera system being operated by ODOT at 14 locations in metropolitan Tulsa. Bolstering the camera system is expected to aid officials in monitoring highway traffic and being more on-point in its accident-response protocols, as well as aid the agency in anticipating hazard zones in advance of potential incidents.
ODOT assistant division engineer Alan Stevenson said, ““We’re tied in to 911 and the Department of Public Safety. They get our camera images and they get to see what’s going on. So when an incident occurs, we’re able to turn the camera and see it. We can see if there’s an accident, and if the car needs to be towed, we can call the towing company and get traffic control set up.”
The cameras will be installed on U.S. 169, I-44, U.S. 75, U.S. 412 and the Broken Arrow Expressway, for which federal funds are likewise available for system maintenance, to the tune of $7,000 to $10,000 annually.
ODOT also operates 223 cameras in the Oklahoma City area, and this increase in the number of Tulsa-area cameras is a reflection of successes seen in the former city.
The installation is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.