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Virginia Smart Roads

Highway Section

The Highway section (original Smart Road) is a 2.2-mile long controlled-access test track built to Federal Highway Administration standards.

The road is equipped with advanced research infrastructure and has the following features:

  • Two paved lanes
  • Three bridges, including the Smart Road Bridge (the 2nd tallest state-maintained bridge in Virginia)
  • Full-time staff that coordinate all road activities and oversee operations
  • 24/7 access control and oversight
  • Lighting and weather system controls
  • Safety oversight and surveillance
  • Nine roadside equipment units (DSRC) that facilitate connected-vehicle communications
  • Two mobile roadside equipment sites (DSRC)
  • Fourteen pavement sections, including an open-grade friction course
  • In-pavement sensors, including moisture, temperature, strain, vibration, and weigh-in-motion
  • An adjacent zero-crown pavement section designed for flooded pavement testing
  • An American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)-designated surface friction testing facility
  • 75 weather-making towers
  • Artificial snow production of up to four inches per hour (based on suitable weather conditions)
  • Production of differing intensities of rain with varying droplet sizes
  • Fog production
  • Two weather stations
  • Official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Forecast Office within one mile
  • Lighting test facility with variable pole spacing and height designed to replicate 95 percent of national highway systems
  • Multiple luminaire heads, including light-emitting diode (LED) modules
  • An optical fiber network spanning the Highway section
  • Ethernet fiber transceivers and Ethernet switches
  • A differential GPS broadcast for precise vehicle locating, covering the entire facility
  • A signalized intersection with complete signal phase and timing (SPaT) using remote controls and DSRC
  • Wide shoulder areas for safe maneuvering during experimental testing