Implement ATIS technology in a way that supports the maintenance staff.
Washington's experience in deploying five Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS) projects and developing a standardized approach for evaluating ATIS projects.
- Perform proactive, preventive maintenance to reduce support expenses. Several project representatives mentioned the goal of proactive versus reactive maintenance as a cost-effective way to minimize support expenses. However, there was an acknowledgement that funds for maintenance as a whole were often insufficient, and therefore preventive work was often not possible. Nevertheless, maintenance crews sometimes perform some preventive activities as part of required support work (e.g., during repairs or diagnostic work) when time permits as a way of maximizing the use of scarce resources.
- Consider device design choices in maintenance costs and safety considerations. Device design and placement choices should consider support costs and worker safety whenever possible. One example noted is the use of shoulder-mounted versus overhead-mounted VMS. There are costs associated with the support of overhead-mounted VMS because of the lane closures and traffic control required to ensure worker safety on the overhead structures. (Traffic control is required by the state's Department of Labor and Industries to ensure worker safety during maintenance procedures.) This additional effort is not required with a VMS that is mounted on a support structure located on the shoulder. This translates into reduced costs in time, money, and safety risk for the shoulder-mounted system. While the choices are not always clear-cut, these factors can be acknowledged and taken into consideration during the planning and design process.
- Consider in-house maintenance staff participation in the design and implementation process for projects with consultant participation. In one project, maintenance staff noted that an outside consultant performed the design and implementation of a previous project in the area. Subsequently, performance problems required support by WSDOT maintenance. Because the devices and installation processes used by the consultant varied from the standard WSDOT equipment and approach, and design drawings were not fully updated, additional time and expense were required to diagnose and solve the problem. In addition, the consultant-designed systems created problems when the new systems were integrated. Therefore, there is a financial incentive to work with DOT maintenance groups to enable them to cost effectively support devices designed or installed by others.
- Update contract information to reflect as-built conditions. The project evaluations indicated a need to update contract design documentation to reflect subsequent changes that occurred during project implementation. The lack of up-to-date as-built design documentation has clear support implications; if design documents do not match actual conditions, additional time and expense could be required to review and document the actual design before support and maintenance options are performed. As a result, associated expenses can be higher than expected. Furthermore, while project staff might have a detailed working knowledge of the design of the system, it is not sufficient to rely upon the collective knowledge of staff regarding any modifications to original design plans. As projects are completed, staff members are often reassigned and memories about specifics fade over time. Therefore, institutional memory is not a substitute for written records of design changes.
Author: Jaime M. Kopf, et al
Published By: Washington State Department of Transportation, sponsoring agency Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC), University of Washington, performing organization
Source Date: 5/1/2005
EDL Number: 14313
Other Reference Number: Report No. WA-RD 606.1; Agreement T1803, Task 27URL: http://depts.washington.edu/trac/bulkdisk/pdf/606.1.pdf
Washington State Transportation Center
Washington State Department of Transportation
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
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