Highway 401 spans 828 kms (514 miles) across the province of Ontario, from Windsor to the Quebec-Ontario border. The 401 is considered the busiest freeway in North America, with an average of 359,850 vehicles traveling the Toronto section of Highway 401 daily (2019 figures). In 2013, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) embarked on a 4-year rehabilitation project of bridges and pavement at the Highway 401/400 Interchange.
As part of this critical infrastructure project, the MTO faced important traffic operation challenges, mainly the night closure of Highway 400 ramp from the Highway 401 Express East for a six-month period. In order to increase the efficiency and safety of the operation, the MTO installed Versilis automated warning gates and signs.
The MTO decided to implement Versilis technology to reduce the time required to set up and tear down temporary road closures, which typically involves a crash attenuator truck and workers placing and removing traffic cones at night. The deployment of Versilis SwiftSign and SwiftGate systems was successful in facilitating work zone road closures at the Highway 401/400 Interchange. The work zone automated access control solution introduced by Versilis increased the traffic operation efficiency and improved worker safety significantly by reducing their exposure to live traffic.
Along with its strong performance and reliability on the worksite, the automated road closure solution received praise from the public, with positive feedback highlighting its ease of navigation and visibility, especially at night. The temporary installation was entirely wireless and powered using solar panels. System control and monitoring were achieved using the Versilis smart handheld remote control and the horizontal swing gates and signs were easily mounted on concrete jersey barriers. During the entire six months of operation, there were no incident reports and no maintenance intervention was required.