Minister Says India Has Funds To Upgrade Its Highway Network To US Standards

“Business Today” reports, during the magazine’s annual budget roundtable, Nitin Gadkari, India’s highways minister, said the government’s current infrastructure improvements plan aims to put Indian highways on a par with US highways by the end of 2024. Gadkari also made a point of touting the government’s ability to “mak[e] roads into a profitable business,” through toll collection and its success in attracting both domestic and foreign investment in the National Highways Infra Trust. He claimed there is no shortage of central government funds for the development of road infrastructure.

WSDOT Faces Problems Over Unhoused People Camping Along I-5 Express

KOMO reports, Washington State DOT and the City of Seattle face difficult issues arising from a “homeless encampment” located along both sides of the I-5 Express Lanes under the Ship Canal Bridge. For months, state and local officials have been dealing with concerns about the welfare of the unhoused people, as well as the safety concerns of neighborhood residents. The article looks at WSDOT’s response, which includes “reassessing the location’s lighting and fencing needs” and working with police and welfare agencies on security checks and rehousing efforts.

West Virginia Turnpike Receives Federal “StormReady” Recognition

WVVA reports, the West Virginia Parkways Authority, operator of the state’s turnpike, has earned US National Weather Service (NWS) recognition as being “StormReady,” which signifies it is prepared to respond quickly and effectively to severe weather conditions that affect travelers and employees. The authority prepared for the designation by installing weather monitoring equipment at several maintenance garages and integrating information on winter weather forecasting and communication into workshops it conducts for maintenance crews and emergency responders.

Information about the StormReady program and the process of applying for recognition is available on the NWS website.

Illinois DOT Grant Will Support Truck Parking Information System Deployment

The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) announced that Illinois DOT awarded a UIC College of Engineering team a $5.1 million grant to continue intelligent transportation research and support the operation of the Gateway Traveler Information System ( “The grant will fund several sub-projects for IDOT, including the deployment of a machine vision truck parking information management system developed by UIC, which uses sensors and cameras to provide real-time updates via roadside signs to commercial truckers, so they can efficiently identify open spots for a rest period. The project will also fund the integration of the [Gateway system] with a statewide transportation management system, and expand the UIC-developed lane closure system to other IDOT districts.”

BNSF Resumes Tolling Autos On Iowa Bridge

The Hawk Eye reports, this morning, BNSF Railway resumed toll collection on its double-deck, swing span toll bridge in Fort Madison, Iowa, for the first time since the 2020 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Toll rates (starting at $2.00) are unchanged for crossing the Mississippi River from Iowa into Illinois. Tolls are not collected on traffic traveling from Illinois.

Fort Madison Daily Democrat reported in October that bridge auto traffic was subjected to a temporary three-ton weight limit after an inspection revealed “a condition” in the structure. “The discovery followed a planned inspection and highway bridge re-rating process.” (There has been no recent public update on the span’s condition.)