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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis
SD2000-11


Title: Remotely Controlled Road Closure Gate
Project Researcher: Sara Russell, SD School of M & T
Project Manager: Bill Cookson
Research Period: 11/6/1999 - 6/12/2000
Status:
Cost: $286.25

Problem Statement: Road closure gates currently used by the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) are comprised of a gate which is hinged to a post. These gates are used to close roads to vehicular traffic during hazardous travel conditions brought on by inclement weather (i.e., snow storms, ice storms, etc.). Deployment of these gates requires having SDDOT personnel manually swing the free end of the gate out across the roadway. Snow and ice buildups on the roadway and on and around the gate can make gate deployment difficult. Poor visibility and slippery conditions, which typically accompany the need for road closure, can make this deployment dangerous to SDDOT personnel. A change in the road closure gate design, along with the ability to remotely deploy the gate, may reduce the labor and danger associated with using road closure gates. Problem Description: Road closure gates currently used by the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) are comprised of a gate which is hinged to a post. These gates are used to close roads to vehicular traffic during hazardous travel conditions brought on by inclement weather (i.e., snow storms, ice storms, etc.). Deployment of these gates requires having SDDOT personnel manually swing the free end of the gate out across the roadway. Snow and ice buildups on the roadway and on and around the gate can make gate deployment difficult. Poor visibility and slippery conditions, which typically accompany the need for road closure, can make this deployment dangerous to SDDOT personnel. A change in the road closure gate design, along with the ability to remotely deploy the gate, may reduce the labor and danger associated with using road closure gates.



Findings: Drop-arm road closure gates are available commercially and can be retrofitted for remote-control operation. Remote controlled drop-arm road closure gates may be beneficial to SDDOT. Continued cultivation of a relationship with SD universities, in which university engineering students complete research projects for the DOT, may enhance the department's ability to recruit engineering graduates for employment.

Research Objectives:
1  To design a remotely activated road closure system.
2  To build a functional prototype of the road closure system.
3  To install and demonstrate the functionality of the system to the Department of Transportation.

Research Tasks:
1  Conduct a review of literature pertaining to remotely activated road closure systems.
2  Meet with the technical panel to discuss any issues or concerns they may have with the project.
3  Meet with South Dakota School of Mines and Technology professors to discuss critical issues related to the project.
4  Develop a conceptual design of the system.
5  Meet with and receive guidance from the Technical Panel and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology professors regarding the conceptual design of the system.
6  6) Develop a preliminary design of the system.
7  Present the preliminary system design to the Technical Panel and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology professors and receive guidance.
8  Build and perform lab tests on a prototype of the system.
9  Perform field tests on the system. Technical Panel shall be present during these field tests.
10  Review crash test results of Wyoming Road Closure Gate (Transportation Research Board Record No. 1528) and calculate what effect mounting prototype equipment (sensors, actuator, etc.) will have on crash worthiness of gate.
11  Meet with the technical panel and present the results of the field tests and receive direction regarding any needed system changes or repairs.
12  Institute and test any necessary changes/repairs to system.
13  Prepare a final report summarizing research methodology, findings, conclusions, and recommendations. This report shall also include system design details, to include schematics and wiring diagrams.
14  Make an executive presentation to the South Dakota Department of Transportation Research Review Board at the conclusion of the project.

Documents Available:
SD2000_11_final_report.pdf

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