ITS deliver an innovative solution for the Swift Gate at VPT


As part of the Victoria Park Tunnel (VPT) project NZTA commissioned the installation of a swift gate at the intersection of Beaumont and Fanshaw Street. The swift gate is a barrier that is designed to close off the traffic to the lane when the barrier transfer machine is in operation and the lane closed. Building the barrier is straight forward enough, but integrating that with the intelligent transport systems at VPT is another matter…VPT Controller.JPG

Downer ITS was recently approached by Beca to come up with a controller solution to operate the swift control gate and changeable message sign as part of the VPT project.  Downer ITS’ Technical Manager, Sergio Prieto, was confident he could use a traffic light controller to manage the functionality in this operation, a somewhat different application to its normal use. Sergio’s rationale being that if the controller is smart enough to control the traffic lights then it could be utilized for this function also. Sergio had previously demonstrated a similar application with the TDM project, controlling the VMS signs from SCATS. By utilizing this type of controller ITS could greatly reduce cost to the client while meeting the operational requirements.

The installation comprised the Versilis swift gate with wireless communication, two Rotopanel CMS signs, a QTC controller that is already operating with SCATS, an AGD radar and the Control Panel designed by Integrated Traffic Solutions.

So how does the ITS-designed swift gate controller work?  

·         The operator of the barrier machine turns the key in the controller panel to the open position.

·         The signal is sent to the traffic light controller and if there is no obstruction (e.g. car parked in front of the gate or a pedestrian walking around the gate) detected by the AGD radar and loops, the QTC controller will initiate a “special phase”. The special phase will stop all the northbound traffic and start opening the gate.

·         Once the gate is open the signal from the Versilis gate is sent to the two CMS signs to display “Open Lane” and at the same time releases the traffic to normal operation.

·         The PLC of the CMS sign sends the signal to the traffic light controller and control panel with the confirmation of the “Open Lane” message.

The closing sequence is the reverse. After the operator turns the key to the closed position the two CMS signs receive the command and change the sign to display “Closed Lane” and the signal is sent to the QTC controller and control panel for a visual confirmation. Once the controller receives the confirmation of the CMS closed lane it initiates a “special phase” that stops all the northbound traffic and commences closing of the gate. When the gate is closed the gate sends a signal to the QTC controller to release the traffic to normal operation.VPT Gate.JPG

In the event of an emergency the system has an override switch that can open and close the gate and CMS signs without the traffic light controller. The barriers are battery powered and these are charged with a solar panel or mains supply. There is remote control application in case of power failure in the area. The entire system can be operated remotely via SCATS so the opening and closing sequences can be monitored easily from the control room.


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