A project to deploy smart pavement in Lenexa City Center is moving forward as planned.
Local company Integrated Roadways is working through design and research of smart infrastructure technology in and around Lenexa City Center, just west of I-435 at 87th Street Parkway and Renner Boulevard. The $8.5 million project is a public-private partnership that will result in real-time traffic monitoring of five intersections.
Smart road technology includes precast concrete sections that have embedded fiber optics and digital technology. The installations allow vehicles to connect to the internet and provide real-time traffic monitoring as well as a full record of traffic history.
In a presentation June 7 to the Lenexa City Council, company representatives shared their plans to engage the local business community and identify the value of real-time data for their current and future business decisions. Hidden Street Marketing, an agency based in Mission, has partnered with Integrated Roadways on community outreach and market research.
“We’re making great progress on Showcase City Center,” said Miguel Jaramillo, director of business development with Integrated Roadways. “We’re excited to engage the business community and to engage the various levels of the city to make sure that this is the showcase that they are looking for and that we want to deliver around integrating smart infrastructure and transportation.”
Jaramillo said business owners already use real-time data to inform their business decisions, such as how many times customers enter a store. The frequency of potential customers passing through Lenexa City Center, for example, is one application of real-time traffic monitoring that the technology will provide, he said, noting that collaboration with the city and businesses will provide Integrated Roadways with more direction on the research and development.
In past presentations with the city, company leaders have expressed their goal to explore new ways to fund aging roadways with the utilization of smart infrastructure. Coincidentally, in that same meeting last week, the city council’s legislative update from Federico Consulting, the city’s lobbyist in Topeka, included a brief about the Kansas Department of Transportation’s 10-year program to modernize and expand the state’s highway infrastructure.
“We found it interesting the council’s legislative update also included a brief about the Kansas Department of Transportation’s IKE Infrastructure… program,” Jaramillo said. “It was a perfect set-up for our update, especially as the council’s legislative consultants mentioned KDOT is looking for alternative technologies and financing for their statewide projects over the next few years.”
Signed into law this year, the bill launched The Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program and accounts for $10 billion in transportation spending. Jaramillo said this will be key for the future integration of smart technology and transportation.
“With KDOT taking a lead in looking at alternative or new technology for their infrastructure system, the other foundation that they’re setting is for opportunities like Integrated Roadways to also provide an alternative, not just technology but also ways to finance projects that don’t always rely on or require public funding,” he added.
Jaramillo said the project is moving forward on schedule, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Construction is slated to begin in early 2021.