High Visibility Automated Gates

Automated Warning Signage

Hwy-400/401 Interchange Rehab., ON

Location

Toronto, ON, Canada

Installation

Temporary

Type

Daily Ramp Closures

About this project

Highway 401 stretches 817.9 kilometers (508.2 mi) from Windsor to the Quebec border. The part of Highway 401 that passes through Toronto is the busiest highway in the world, and one of the widest. In 2013 the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) embarked on a 4-year rehabilitation project of bridges and pavement at the Highway 401/400 Interchange. As part of this critical infrastructure project, the MTO faced important traffic operation challenges, mainly the nightly closure of Hwy 400 ramp from the Hwy 401 Express E for a six months period. In order to increase the efficiency and the safety of the operation, the MTO installed Automated Warning Signs (SwiftSign) and Automated Warning Gates (SwiftGate) from Versilis.

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Challenge

  • Nightly ramp closures on a busy segment of Highway 401 for a 6 months period
  • Limited time for workers to work at night
  • Traditional ramp closure operation very time consuming and risky
  • Looking for an innovative solution to close ramp automatically
  • Looking for a solar-powered solution for this temporary project (no wiring)

Solution

The gate’s high visibility improved safety for workers and motorists by effectively slowing traffic through the construction zone. The MTO tested the Versilis technology to reduce the time it takes to close/open lanes, which typically involves a crash truck and workers placing and removing barrels nightly. The use of the SwiftSign and the SwiftGate products increased worker safety by limiting their exposure to traffic and introduced potential cost savings for the ministry. Along with its strong performance on the worksite, the system received praise from the public, with positive feedback highlighting its ease of navigation and visibility, especially at night. During the entire 6 months of operation, no incidents were reported and no maintenance intervention was necessary on the gates.

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Benefits

  • Highly visible gates with flashing LEDs send a clear message to motorists that the lane is closed
  • Automated gates enable quick off-ramp opening and closing
  • Increased traffic operation safety/ reduced highway worker exposure
  • Minimum maintenance required
  • Solar-powered solution – quick installation

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