Missouri DOT Seeking Ways to Test Making ‘Smart Pavement’ Roads Self-Funding

AASHTO Journal, 16 September 2016

As a part of its “Road to Tomorrow” initiative to develop new ways with private partners to pay for infrastructure, the Missouri Department of Transportation is seeking pilot project proposals to test whether technology services that customers would be willing to pay for could be built into a Missouri highway.

dollarpump.jpgMoDOT said the project will evaluate if “smart pavement” systems can make roads sustainably self-funded by providing value-added wireless services that would support both mobile communications connectivity and next-generation electric, connected and autonomous vehicles.

“We want to see if interstate travel-ways can become a platform to generate revenue through the collection and transmission of technology and data services,” Road to Tomorrow Team Lead Tom Blair said.

MoDOT wants initial proposals by Oct. 31, and plans to select a best-value proposer early in 2017.

The initiative’s website said it wants to see if “smart pavement” can provide “a suite of digital, communication and information services to MoDOT, motor carriers and other commercial fleet operators and private drivers on a subscription basis” to create a sustainable revenue stream for infrastructure projects.

The request for proposals said the pilot project would offer Missouri’s interstate highways “as a laboratory for innovation, actively seeking innovations that support this goal of generating revenue.”

The pilot would “specify, design, build and test a small-scale installation of the envisioned interstate system to determine if the concept is sound and could support the intended use” that on a larger scale would “have the potential to become a significant source of revenue.”

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