FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Interstate cameras are coming to Allen County highways, following in the steps of Indianapolis, Chicago and Louisville.
Beginning next year, Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will cover more than 100 miles of I-69 and 31 miles of I-469 with cameras. They’ll also be installing speed and volume sensors and message boards.
With the new technology at most interstate interchanges, INDOT will be able to monitor crashes, incidents, and concerns in real-time. The public will be able to view snapshots of incidents on INDOT’s website.
On I-69, cameras will be placed from State Road 26, near Gas City, to the Ohio state line.
INDOT Fort Wayne spokesperson Nichole Hacha-Thomas explained that the greater Fort Wayne area was the next reasonable location to install interstate cameras now that they’ve already equipped other nearby metropolitan areas with them. With I-69 averaging 60,000 motorists a day and I-469 averaging 30,000 motorists a day, this will help them handle incidents and backups with much more efficiency.
“Now we’ll be able to pinpoint incidents, pull it up on a camera and look at that and see what’s going on and dispatch our resources with the correct resources as opposed to getting there, determining what we need and then dispatching out,” she said. “So, this will allow us to get those situations under control sooner which gets drivers back on the road sooner.”
Thomas said it will also give drivers another tool in their toolbox before they travel.
“Certainly, in the winter, this will be very helpful because they can pull up I-69 still and see what the highway looks like before they decide to travel,” she said. “If it looks bad or icy, then they might want to alter their route. Same thing if you are headed to a concert or you’re heading out, you want to double-check what the highway traffic looks like. Is it crazy? Is it light? What does it look like?”
Indiana State Police have been waiting for the technology to reach Fort Wayne, seeing how it’s been benefiting first responders in Indianapolis.
“It’s a tremendous help down there,” state police Sgt. Ron Galaviz said. “They know exactly where they need to be and which direction to come in from so they’re not getting tied up in the bottleneck themselves.There’s a lot of different dynamics that happen on these roadways every day that we’re expected to respond to and be ‘Johnny-on-the-spot’ and it’s hard to, but when we can get eyes on, we see exactly what’s happening, have more accurate information and make better decisions.”
INDOT hasn’t determined how many cameras or message boards will be installed or if there will be a new mobile app for the cameras.
Their goal is for all of I-69 and I-469 to be monitored via these systems by 2024.