Tuscarora Mountain Tunnel, PA

Location

Huntingdon & Franklin Counties, PA

Installation

Permanent

Type

Tunnel Rehab & Maintenance Operations

About this project

The Tuscarora Mountain Tunnel consists of individual two-lane highway tunnels through the Tuscarora Mountain between Huntingdon and Franklin Counties in rural Pennsylvania. Each tunnel is approximately 5,326 feet (1,623 meters) in length with portal buildings on each end. As part of an important rehabilitation project, Versilis was selected by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to supply an Automated Lane Closure System at each tunnel approach. Two series of SwiftGate HSG-18CW (38 in total) will facilitate the lane shifts required as part of tunnel closure operations. The traffic control automation is an important safety initiative to reduce worker exposure to live traffic on this high-speed corridor.

The automated gate system can be operated locally using the Versilis RF Handheld Remote Control, or remotely using the Versilis web page. Full integration of the gates within the tunnel SCADA traffic management center (TMC) system is under way as part of another project.

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Challenges

  • Current tunnel closure using standard maintenance of traffic (MOT) procedures can take up to 45 minutes (1h30min to open and close)
  • Extensive MOT time reduces night-time work window
  • Repetitive tunnel maintenance operations translate to regular worker exposure to live traffic on a high-speed corridor

Solution

The Versilis automated lane closure solution consists of a series of gates used to divert traffic. A taper of automated gates is deployed in less than 5 minutes. The gates can be operated locally or remotely. The Versilis SwiftGate HSG-18CW is crash tested to NCHRP-350 requirements. Each gate has a very narrow mechanism footprint, allowing installation on a narrow median barrier wall. Gate arms offer increased visibility in order to send a clear message to motorists that an access is closed. The Versilis communication hardware allows different operation and monitoring options, as well as easy integration into a TMC system using NTCIP protocol.

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Anticipated benefits

  • Reduced worker exposure to live traffic
  • Reduced time required to close each tunnel
  • Increased night-time working window
  • Increased motorist safety with highly visible and crash tested gates

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