Colorado taps Ciber for highway tunnel security system

Ciber Inc. has won a one-year, $1.45 million project from the Colorado Department of Transportation to upgrade the traffic surveillance and control system for the Hanging Lake Tunnel on Interstate 70.

The upgrade will enable department employees to know whether a vehicle has entered but not exited the tunnel, Ed Burns, senior vice president of Ciber's state and local government group, told Washington Technology Aug. 8.

In the past, state employees who noticed a vehicle had not exited the tunnel would have regarded the incident as a traffic problem, but they now also will treat such incidents as possible security threats, he said. The system will allow them to make the appropriate response, he said.

Under the contract, Ciber of Greenwood Village, Colo., will provide a control system for the Hanging Lake Tunnel that will monitor vehicle speed, length and height; traffic congestion and incidents; traffic lane devices; variable message signs; tunnel ventilation and electrical distribution.

The control system will provide improved safety and security for the tunnel and those who use it, the company said. For example, there are carbon monoxide detectors that close the tunnel doors if they detect fire. The tunnel also has alarms that sound and cameras that activate if a vehicle passes one sensor but not the next.

The tunnel's original surveillance system was installed in 1993 to control traffic in the tunnel as well as monitor the ventilation and safety systems. The Colorado Department of Transportation is replacing the system, which monitors the two bores over four miles of I-70, because the operating system and hardware platform are becoming obsolete, the company said.

Ciber, an information technology services provider, has other intelligent transportation projects in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Washington.

The company has more than 5,000 employees and annual sales of $558.9 million, according to Hoover's Online of Austin, Texas.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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