The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is striving to make highway and bridge construction zones safer for workers by rolling out a statewide Lane Closure Notification System pilot.

The system will improve worker safety by using the latest GPS and mapping technologies to alert motorists to active work zones and danger by sending alerts via smartphone navigation applications.

Florida is the first state in the U.S. to introduce the hands-free technology.

The department is working in partnership with the Florida Transportation Builders Association and, a Wilmington, Delaware-based road management software as a service (SaaS) technology provider.

The system is being tested for one year across the state and alerts drivers about active work zones or lane closures. The unique pilot will cover all planned construction sites across more than 12,000 miles of state roads in FDOT’s seven regional districts and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise.

The technology allows work zone supervisors to use’s Live Link smartphone application to geometrically map out lane closures and input important information to alert drivers.

Near real-time alerts are sent to GPS companies which, in turn, can update drivers on any upcoming work zones or lane closures to smartphone apps like Waze. More apps are scheduled to be added during the pilot, including Google Maps, Apple Maps and TomTom.

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When using one of the mapping services, notifications will typically come across the same way that drivers are used to receiving alerts for accidents or congestion situations along their designated routes.

With the new system integrating into mapping services that drivers already use, the state maintains the additional hands-free feature will create increased safety for all, a better experience for motorists, and help to keep construction projects moving forward.

Information provided to the navigation app providers will include accurate beginning and end points of lane closures, temporary work zone speed-limit changes and construction worker presence.

“Safety is critical to the mission of FDOT,” says FDOT secretary Jared Perdue. “This innovative real-time Lane Closure Notification System is the first of its kind in North America and will be essential for improving construction worker and motorist safety in work zones across Florida.

“We appreciate the opportunity to be the first in the nation to utilize this state-of-the-art technology and look forward to further collaboration with our construction, maintenance and technology partners to advance FDOT’s safety goals.

“Drivers can now count on real-time and accurate work zone information through their preferred mapping app or device as these notices are put into the system by supervisors who are located on the scene of the work zone.”

According to FDOT, anticipated benefits of the navigation system are a reduction in work zone crashes, fatalities and serious injuries, reduced congestion and improved travel time reliability as a result of informing motorists about potential lane closures.

FDOT is training staff and contractors who will use the Live Link application to provide real-time lane closure and work zone details.

A soft launch of the technology took place in the summer. The plan is to rollout the system to more than 500 construction projects over the next few months.

The FDOT is investing heavily in projects to increase safety for the travelling public but also for the men and women who are working on road and bridge construction projects across the state. Planned transportation investments for fiscal year 2022-23 total more than $12 billion.

The department is also reminding motorists that, as workers do their part to improve, rebuild and maintain roadways, they should adhere to posted work zone speed limits and be cautious when travelling through work zones.

In 2020, the Federal Highway Administration stated speeding was a factor in more than 37 per cent of fatal work zone crashes.

Additionally, 20 per cent of fatal work zone crashes involved rear-end collisions. According to statewide crash data for 2017 to 2021, Florida experienced 53,548 work zone-related crashes, including 376 fatalities and 1,904 severe injuries.

Florida now uses a combination of red, green and amber lights on construction equipment in high-speed work zones when workers are present. The new color schematic started in October 2021 and is intended to grab the attention of motorists and ensure the safety of workers and motorists alike.

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What does the Florida Department of Transportation do?

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is an executive agency. FDOT's mission is to serve the residents and visitors of Florida by providing a safe transportation system that ensures the mobility of people and goods, enhances economic prosperity and preserves the quality of our environment and communities.