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million projected savings as a result of the tolling technology


upfront savings as a result of the tolling technology

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The challenge

The International and Blue Water Bridges connect critical roadways linking Canada and the United States. Previous toll systems had not been upgraded for 10 years, and with up to 250,000 crossings every month, increasing international traffic and ongoing operational and maintenance needs were starting to have an impact. Residents, travelers, haulers, and visitors on both sides of the border were often subject to delays, and it was becoming increasingly clear that improvements needed to be made to help ease traffic flow.

The solution

Arcadis, formerly Arcadis IBI Group, was contracted by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the International Bridge Administration and the Federal Bridge Corporation Limited to modernize the two bridges’ existing toll system infrastructure. Working as part of a bi-national project team of US-Canadian stakeholders, we acted as lead contractor to deliver an integrated toll system product, with services including system design, development, installation, testing, implementation, and project management. Our toll system operates on both sides of the border, offering an enhanced transaction management and analytics platform, including trend analysis, performance monitoring, live monitoring, asset management, transaction and revenue reconciliation, and auditing.

The impact

Our integrated toll system product offers a proven, auditable, and seamless solution for both back-end and front-end operations and has been designed to accommodate both currencies along the border. Automated Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag reading in lanes has replaced the old card-based system with greater interoperability and standardized web and account access, allowing citizens to create accounts and register with multiple bridge agencies. New web portals were designed with increased reliability and functionality in mind, improving the customer experience by enabling people to manage their accounts more effectively, including via mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices. The updated digital interface conveniently offers travelers expanded payment options to streamline the process of cross-border travel, effectively reducing queue time and the emissions associated with idling vehicles.

As well as being successfully implemented on both sides of the Blue Water Bridge, the toll system is also being applied on the US side of the International Bridge, spanning the St. Mary's River from Michigan to Ontario.

Together, the application of this technology at all three locations has enabled a total estimated savings of 36 percent on upfront costs, with projected savings of $6.5 to $7 million over the next decade.

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