Currently the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) operates two Traffic Management Centers (TMC) and Alabama Service and Assistance Patrol (ASAP) programs, one in the Birmingham Urbanized Area and one in the Mobile Urbanized Area. ALDOT strives to reduce traffic delays and congestion on the Interstate and state highway systems around metropolitan area utilizing the TMC and ASAP programs to respond to a variety of incidents ranging from removing debris in the roadway, providing assistance to disabled vehicles, and coordinating incident response with First Responders.
The use of a TMC and ASAP are two aspects of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) utilized by ALDOT for congestion management in the Greater Birmingham Metropolitan Area. Although these two programs have always worked in conjunction with each other it was not until mid-2013 that they were brought together under the same immediate supervision. As ALDOT strives to reduce congestion on the Interstate system around Birmingham, the TMC uses various types of surveillance equipment to detect incidents and notify ASAP and other first responders. ASAP and others respond to these incidents and works to clear the roadways so that normal traffic flow may be resumed. By quickly reestablishing normal traffic flow, harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) produced by idling vehicles, onlooker delays and chances of secondary incidents are all reduced. The program in Birmingham provides a wide range of services to motorists traveling I-20, I-59, I-65 and I-459 in Jefferson and Shelby counties.
The Mobile ASAP program currently patrols I-10, I-65, I-165, US 90, and US 98 in the Mobile Metro area and the Eastern Shore of Baldwin County 24 hours a day/ 365 days a year. This includes the critical areas around the Bankhead and Wallace Tunnels and along the I-10 Bayway (along with Wallace Tunnel, this area is listed as the most congested section of I-10 from the Atlantic to the Pacific) and US 90/98 Causeway. This is done by utilizing the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) devices located at the state of the art Mobile Regional Traffic Management Center (RTMC). The program was initiated as a part of the overall Intelligent Transportation System program of ALDOT. ASAP provides a free service to the traveling public and has become an integral and extremely successful part of the Alabama Department of Transportation's freeway incident management effort.