Tucson Upgrades Control of High Water Flashing Beacons with STC 2-way Text
TEMPE, AZ - 07/04/2013 - Rain is infrequent in the Southwest yet one
realizes when it does rain, it can flood washes and streets. Many state
agencies throughout the Southwest abide by this fact and limit the number of
bridges built across washes in their jurisdictions.
There are many locations where arterial roads cross washes which often
flood. Flooding typically takes place during short rainy periods in the
winter but especially in the summer during the monsoon season. Flooded
washes are barricaded to restrict traffic from entering the area.
In many cases, agencies install warning flashers in advance of the wash and
activate them as needed to warn motorists of flooded conditions. Such has
been the case with Tucson, Arizona.
Many years ago Tucson installed solar-powered warning beacons at some of
their key unbridged wash crossings. Tucson has four crossings set up with
advance flashing beacons for a total of eight beacons. The initial systems
used a local radio receiver at each beacon station. When upstream conditions
indicated flood level run-off was coming down the wash, city personnel were
deployed with a handheld transmitter to activate the beacons from one side
of the wash while they put up barricades and tape to block drivers.
One of the problems with this approach was the handheld radio would get lost
between rainy seasons so a new one would have be purchased.
Eventually STC was able to outfit the city with a pager active system which
allowed the city to use their cell phones as the 'remote' to activate the
systems. This worked for a few years until pager service became obsolete.
Last year STC demonstrated a two-way text messaging card option to the city.
Again, the users' cell phone acted as the remote as long as they knew the
number to call and the pass code to append to have the message accepted. The
unit was able to send back a confirmation message to the user that the
message had been received and acted upon.
STC took the base unit one step further and added a Low Battery alarm
function and an open door alarm function as well. After some issues with RF
equipment and carrier selection, the city was able to finally deploy the
equipment and proclaim it operational this spring. Whenever the door is
opened at the unit or if the flashing beacon hits the Low Battery threshold
voltage, the unit will text out to the primary user an alarm text message.
Monthly cost is only a few dollars per unit and includes up to 30 messages
per month (sent/received total). The unit includes RF cabling and a
penta-band cellular antenna kit.
Celebrating our 12th year designing and manufacturing solar-powered traffic
control systems. For more information on STC's products and services, please
stay here on our website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 480.449.0222.