The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) announced today it has joined with seven other states to receive a $25 million grant from the US Department of Transportation to expand a real-time truck parking information system throughout the Midwest.
"As the economy continues to grow in Wisconsin and the Midwest, we are seeing growth in truck traffic. We want to ensure the safety of truck operations and help drivers know where they can rest in an appropriate location that is safe for both them and the rest of the traveling public," noted Wisconsin Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb.
The focus of the project is to provide real-time information on Interstate highways to commercial truck drivers looking for a place to rest at the end of their hours of service. Drivers without adequate rest pose a significant safety hazard. In Wisconsin alone from 2010 through 2014, there were 592 traffic crashes where "reduced alertness" by a commercial driver was a contributing factor. These crashes resulted in 24 fatalities and 481 serious injuries.
The Truck Parking Information and Management System (TPIMS) initiative builds on existing efforts underway in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin to provide real-time information to commercial truck drivers about the availability of truck parking near Interstate highways.
TPIMS will provide real-time information on the availability of truck parking through onboard communication, smart phone apps, websites including 511wi.gov and dynamic roadside signs. These tools will allow truckers who are nearing their end of service hours to be able to plan their rest periods without having to exit the freeway and waste time and fuel looking for available parking.
WisDOT expects to receive just over $2 million from the US DOT grant to be used in conjunction with about $200,000 of state funds. The grant will support the communication of real-time truck parking information systems at several new locations in Wisconsin along the I-94 corridor in Columbia, Dunn, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau and Kenosha counties. These new installations will work in concert with four installations already planned for the corridor in Wisconsin using a separate federal grant.
The other states participating in the grant are Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio. The effort was organized through the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO). Greg Nadeau, administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, made the announcement today in Kansas, which was the lead-state grant applicant.
Kansas Transportation Secretary and former MAASTO President Mike King praised the eight states "…whose goals are to improve the efficiency, economic competitiveness and safety of the national freight network. By working together, we can provide our freight customers the reliability of a seamless, regional system."