ADOT completes freeway technology system along West Valley Loop 101 in time for Super Bowl

Message boards, cameras and sensors help efforts to inform drivers, keep traffic flowing

PHOENIX — When fans are making their way along Loop 101 to the NFL's Super Bowl in Glendale on Sunday, the Arizona Department of Transportation will use upgraded technology to help keep drivers informed while the agency tracks traffic conditions on the primary freeway route to University of Phoenix Stadium.

ADOT met a goal of completing installation of the equipment, including new overhead message signs and more than 20 closed-circuit TV cameras, ahead of the Super Bowl. Testing of the Freeway Management System equipment along Loop 101 between Interstate 17 and Interstate 10 in the West Valley wrapped up in late December.

The upgrades mean operators in ADOT's Traffic Operations Center in Phoenix are now able to better track traffic conditions along the 22-mile-stretch of the Loop 101 Agua Fria Freeway. This weekend, information will be posted on nine new overhead electronic signs. ADOT also will be able to provide freeway information to emergency crews and local communities.

Travelers also can check on freeway conditions, including camera images, from home or their workplace by visiting ADOT's 5-1-1 travel-information system at az511.gov.  ADOT also posts traffic updates on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT).

Prior to the $6.4 million project, there were only four overhead message boards and 13 closed-circuit cameras used to check traffic conditions along Loop 101 in the West Valley. 

Crews added the nine message boards above the freeway, as well as 21 new high-definition digital cameras, while replacing the 13 older cameras. More than 400 sensors were embedded in the freeway's pavement to track the flow of traffic.

The project, which started in March 2014, also required the use of 44,000 feet of fiber optic cable.

Traffic-management technology has actually been used along Phoenix-area freeways for more than two decades.

While the improved traffic-management technology along Loop 101 in the West Valley was not installed just for the Super Bowl, ADOT worked with the city of Glendale and the Maricopa Association of Governments to advance the project's construction schedule to complete the work in time for the big game.

The Loop 101 technology had its first major test, and worked well, on New Year's Eve afternoon when the Fiesta Bowl game between the University of Arizona and Boise State University was being played at University of Phoenix Stadium.

As part of the Loop 101 project, more than 25 ramp meter traffic signals also were installed along on-ramps to help provide room for traffic merging on and off the freeway during weekday morning and afternoon rush hours.