Last Friday (August 14), I received an exciting call from Alejandro Ortega and Osvaldo (Osvy) Rodriguez saying, “all done, the last traffic signal was successfully connected back to the FDOT District 6 SunGuide Transportation Management Center (TMC)”. As of July 1, 2020, the operations and maintenance (O&M) responsibilities of state-owned traffic signals were transferred from City of Key West to the FDOT District 6 TSM&O Unit from MM 0.0 to MM 4.23. However, Alejandro, Osvy, and I have been working tirelessly since January 2020 with controller database conversions and bench testing, and field integrations. Our primary role was to perform the 1:1 conversion from the 2033 software/firmware to the Omni eX ecosystem. We were able to streamline the process by developing a standard “conversion log” and testing procedure, and each 1-C CPU was tested on Choice’s McCain 2070LX controller and Caltrans type briefcase tester before field deployment. We were part of the “Integration Team” responsible with integration of cellular communication, controller CPU upgrade (1-E to 1-C), and cabinet assembly retrofits to establish alarms (i.e., door open, flash status, and UPS on and low battery) to monitor the signal system from the SunGuide TMC. This was a bittersweet moment because we have been working alongside with FDOT from beginning to end, literally, from Key West to Key Largo; approximately 106 miles to give some perspective! The initial transition of state-owned traffic signals started in summer of 2018 with the O&M transfer of state-owned traffic signals from MM 4.4 to MM 104.6, and now completed through this effort. I also want to acknowledge Rafael Aguilar and Josue Aguilar with the design project that preceded these integrations. We were tasked to develop construction plans for a retrofit project to upgrade the substandard TS-1 wiring convention to TS-2 convention for individual movement monitoring, provisions for lane by lane detection for future support of ATSPM with loop and microwave-VDS (MVDS), audible pedestrian signal (APS) installation, upgrade of substandard service disconnects, replacement of obsolete UPS, provisioning of spare innerduct conduits and low voltage wiring for future integration of UPS alarms with SunGuide TMC, and accessible police panel retrofit. This project was successfully completed prior to our integration work and played a vital role to establish the necessary infrastructure for a “smooth” integration of the cabinet alarms and future O&M by FDOT. It is important to note that extensive coordination was required because of the timeline; as the pushbutton contractor completed intersections, we often were at location the next day for integration. This demonstrates Choice Engineering’s depth and breadth of traffic signal/ITS expertise from design to construction, flexibility, and ultimately ensured the successful completion of the pushbutton construction projects and in-house TSM&O integration effort.
Erik Echezabal, PE, PTOE