Florida Department of Transportation – Leveraging Innovation: How FDOT Transformed the Gateway to Florida Keys

The Cow Key Bridge provides the only access in and out of Key West for 30,000 residents and 2 million annual visitors. To ease congestion and save time, the Florida Department of Transportation embarked on a $16.7 million upgrade effort. Florida DOT worked with local officials minimize the impact of construction to travelers. To do this, it diverted traffic from one bridge to the other during the construction period. The department also deployed a SMART Work Zone System (SWZS) that included a temporary traffic signal, three closed circuit cameras, and nine Bluetooth devices. The SWZS collected real time traffic data during the construction and maintained efficient traffic operations, which reduced commute times significantly during the project. With those updates, commuters and travelers can safety and quickly access Key West.