Idaho installing Bluetooth sensors along I-15 to monitor traffic during construction

Updated Mar 28, 2017

Idaho Welcome SignThe Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is installing Bluetooth-based roadway sensors in the median of Interstate 15 to provide real-time travel information for drivers during construction work that will start this spring, Traffic Technology Today reports. ITD is planning to make bridge repairs and resurface the deteriorated pavement on I-15 in eastern Idaho, which is expected to last into 2018.

Multiple work zones will be located along a 140-mile stretch of the interstate between Utah and Montana. More than 50 Bluetooth sensors will be attached to poles and connected to portable message signs at the beginning of the construction zones. The sensors will pick up the Bluetooth signal on smartphones, connected devices, or built-in systems in vehicles as they pass any two points in the work zone. The times between the two points will be calculated to find average travel speeds in that sector of the highway and will provide drivers with information about traffic impacts ahead.

The real-time travel data will also be available to the public through a mobile app being developed and on the agency’s project website. The sensors will help the department monitor traffic conditions during the construction period, as well as during winter months when bad weather can impact travel times. Sensors are also being installed on two arterial routes, US 20 and US 91, during the I-15 construction. The sensors will be removed after construction is complete in 2018.

“This technology will give us reliable traffic data that we can use to maximize traffic flow and make our work zones safer,” Dan Harelson, ITD District 5 engineering manager, told the news agency. “ITD is asking motorists to plan extra time to travel through construction. Pay attention to signage and changing traffic patterns this summer.”