Assessing Corridor Health

Inventorying the corridor's systems and operations allowed the team to:

  • See which monitoring and control elements were in place
  • Identify any that were not working properly
  • Determine what elements, if any, were missing that would be necessary for an ICM project

It is vital to begin this assessment soon after selecting a corridor, so that all necessary systems will be present and operating before the ICM system is deployed. Starting the process early allows time to:

  • Manage any requests for equipment upgrades
  • Identify and secure funding for any needed upgrades
  • Repair, upgrade, or install equipment

Developing a list of equipment needs

Based on the corridor assessment, the project team worked with stakeholders to begin developing a list of items needed to fill detection or operational gaps along the corridor. For freeway systems (sensors, ramp meters, etc.) Caltrans was able to determine equipment needs. For arterial systems, input was needed from LA County and each of the cities the arterials passed through.

Pursuing funding

A corollary of identifying needed upgrades is finding the funding to pay for them. The project team pursued the following funding avenues:

  • SHOPP—To upgrade freeway systems, Caltrans applied to the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP). The list of upgrade needs and a cost breakdown can be found in the Project Study Report submitted to SHOPP.
  • Call for Projects—For arterial improvements, the project team responded to LA Metro's 2015 Call for Projects, a competitive grant program that co-funds new regionally significant capital projects.
  • Mobility Matrix—The project team joined discussions for developing a "mobility matrix," a list of projects being prepared by the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments and other agencies in the LA area for inclusion in the potential transportation sales tax extension.

An ongoing task

The process of assessing the corridor, creating a needs list, requesting upgrades, securing funding, and installing equipment can take considerable time.  Moreover, monitoring the corridor's status must continue even after systems are upgraded, to make sure everything remains in working order. These activities—collectively known as Corridor Preparation, which ensures that the corridor is prepared for deployment of the ICM system—extend, as the project timeline shows, from early in the project until system operations begin.

In addition, assessing corridor operations is an important part of analysis, modeling, and simulation (AMS), the process of building a model of corridor behavior and simulating incidents and interventions, to explore the benefits and costs of an ICM system.