I-565 to get $5.5 million technology upgrade

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – It’s time for an update, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation, as plans for a multimillion-dollar technology upgrade along Interstate 565 are set.

Real-time camera views and digital message boards are part of the $5.5 million tech upgrade coming to I-565.

The majority of the project is federally funded, with some state funding mixed in. ALDOT officials said adding a fiber optic cable the length of 565 will support both the cameras and message boards. ALDOT officials also said the goal is 100-percent visibility with camera views, or as close to it as they can get.

This area is the last in the state to receive message boards that will inform and update drivers on travel times; not having an exact number of how many boards we’ll get, one ALDOT leader says there will definitely be several across 565.

“Huntsville is kind of bringing up the rear here, but we’re really thrilled to be bringing this technology to the 565 corridor and we think it’s going to be extremely beneficial.”

The overall term they use for traffic cameras, dynamic message signs, and their ALGO traffic alerts is “intelligent transportation systems” or ITS.

“One of the main reasons intelligent transportation systems are being expanded in recent years is because of the very high cost of constructing new roads or additional lanes to deal with roadway capacity issues. We are looking for more cost-efficient ways to improve traffic flow. If motorists are better informed, they can not only avoid delays themselves but avoid contributing to additional delays for other motorists,” Burkett said.

Officials say the contract for the tech upgrade will be awarded in the Fall of 2022 and the project should be complete by the end of the year in 2023.

Burkett says he does not expect any of these updates to cause major traffic delays even as they lay optic cable, however, he said there could be occasional lane closures.

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