DOT investigating surveillance technologies for bridges, tunnels

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Wednesday, October 1, 2003

WASHINGTON - The United States Department of Transportation has awarded a contract to Fulcrum Corp., Fairfax, Va., to report on the effectiveness of several surveillance technologies that may be used in monitoring bridges and tunnels nationwide.

The $169,000 contract calls for consulting firm Fulcrum to deliver a report and technical summary on closed-circuit cameras, electronic detection and monitoring devices, tracking devices and alarm systems. These technologies will be evaluated not only in terms of effectiveness, but for cost, design and applicability.

The award was announced in August on FedBizOpps.gov, where government buyers post business opportunities to solicit bids from commercial vendors.

According to the statement of work for the project, states are “overwhelmed by new technologies available for implementation but lack the appropriate guidelines for choosing the technologies that will effectively secure bridges and tunnels against terrorism.”

Vijay Kohli of Fulcrum said the study, which has a target completion date of August 2004, will “provide a tool for each state’s DOT, which they can use for the selection of surveillance systems for their bridges and tunnels.”

An earlier joint study between the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the Transportation Review Board showed that 59 percent of state-level transportation agencies use some form of surveillance technology on their bridges. The DOT aims to raise that number by providing operators more information about video surveillance and other security options.

“In order to better secure structures, this number needs to be increased, and the type of surveillance technologies upgraded,” the statement of work reads.

Fulcrum will also study how to use the technologies it reports on for other purposes, such as traffic management, bridge conditions and monitoring hazardous materials transport.