Rowan and SJTA Receive $8.4M Grant To Collaborate In AC Expressway Transportation Research Project

By: Follow South Jersey Staff

Atlantic City Expressway heading into Atlantic City. Photo credit: Doug Kerr.

GLASSBORO, N.J. — The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has awarded Rowan University and the South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA) a $8.4 million Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) grant to research cellular vehicle-to-everything technology utilizing the Atlantic City Expressway.

“Rowan University was aware of our All-Electronic Tolling (AET) project which is anticipated to begin construction in 2023,” Stephen F. Dougherty, SJTA Executive Director, said in a press release from the university. “We are pleased this collaboration will directly benefit from the overhead gantry systems which will replace the toll booths on the Atlantic City Expressway proper as well as the entrance and exit ramps.”

The $8.74 million grant will transform the existing Atlantic City Expressway into a smart and connected corridor ready to serve transportation users and surrounding communities safely and efficiently. 

The primary focus will be to deploy and evaluate heterogeneous cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology to support future connected and automated vehicles.  An infrastructure in-loop simulation-enable platform (a digital twin of the Atlantic City Expressway), is also proposed to accelerate the evaluation and deployment of future V2X technologies.  The grant will support the research and pilot project with the hopes that the Expressway will ultimately benefit from the cutting-edge technology in the long term.

“When the U.S. Department of Transportation requested grant proposals, the South Jersey Transportation Authority already had plans and funding in place to introduce all-electronic tolling on the Atlantic City Expressway,” Dr. Yusuf Mehta, director of Rowan University’s Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems (CREATES), said. “We reached out to the SJTA and suggested we work together to request additional federal funding to not only improve the user experience with cashless tolling, but also transform the Expressway into a real-world testbed for the future development and evaluation of new transportation technologies.”

Rowan University President Ali A. Houshmand added, “Rowan University is developing a reputation for its ability to collaborate with government agencies, private industry, and other universities to conduct research and make real-world improvements that benefit the public.  Such research requires significant investment, and I’m grateful to Sen. Bob Menendez for advocating for critically needed infrastructure and transportation improvements in our region.”

The project’s research partners also include Kennesaw State University in Georgia, Clemson University in South Carolina, the University of Alabama, and West Virginia University.

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