Like fuel in a vehicle, funding is essential for an ICM effort to move forward. While clearly necessary to get the project going, the tasks of researching, applying for, monitoring, and tracking funding continue throughout the project to ensure its continuity and execution. These tasks fall under Project Initiation and Management in the project timeline.
Funding is needed for the following areas:
To effectively monitor and control a range of corridor operations, an ICM system needs a sufficiently dense, extensive, and well-functioning infrastructure, including loop detectors, ramp meters, arterial signals, and message signs. In addition, all sensing and control elements must be reliably connected to a central system that can receive and process data and send commands. This raises the following questions for identifying funding requirements:
- Does the infrastructure currently exist, or must it be purchased?
- Do some or all of the elements need to be upgraded?
- Is connectivity and communication adequate, or must it be installed or upgraded?
Depending on the magnitude of the equipment purchases and upgrades required, the potential dollar amount can be estimated. Since improvements/upgrades may be needed on both Caltrans and local rights of way, multiple funding sources are generally required.
It is also assumed that a systems engineering process will be followed to identify stakeholders, develop requirements, study/simulate the corridor, build/acquire needed components, and deploy and evaluate the final system. Generally, this process will involve Caltrans, regional agencies, local agencies, and appropriate consultants. Funds for systems engineering can be provided by internal Caltrans resources, partner funds, Caltrans Headquarters (“Caltrans HQ”) funds, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT), and other funding sources.