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Friday, May 20, 2022

Website lets drivers check traffic

Interstate 75 is now streaming.

The City of Gainesville, the Florida Department of Transportation, UF and Alachua County launched an interstate streaming service to broadcast several sections of I-75, said Chip Skinner, Gainesville Public Works spokesman. The city announced Wednesday that drivers can use the service to check the highway’s traffic before they hit the road.

Images from several sections of the interstate are uploaded to the website, gac-smartraffic.com, about once a minute. The new cameras are a part of a larger transportation project that should be up in about a year, said Mark C. Wilson, a state traffic operations engineer out of Tallahassee.

Ten of the 12 new cameras are solar-powered, and most are able to wirelessly transmit the images back to the center.

The full system will also have devices that sense the volume of traffic and thickness of smoke, and infrared cameras that can see through fog too thick for the cameras.

“All of this is being funded with a partnership,” Skinner said. “It’s all part of the smart traffic system.”

Each camera cost about $3,200. After assembly and installation, the total price of the system came to about $240,000, said Matthew Weisman, an operations engineer for the City of Gainesville.

“It’s giving us quicker detection and quicker response times, and that’s just with the cameras,” Wilson said. “We have a plan to put a very good system in.”

Contact Alex Catalano at acatalano@alligator.org.

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