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Research - Operations

This research project is focused on WSDOT Operations:

Traffic Projects

Hilltop Radar for Traffic Monitoring - WA-RD 630.1
Principal Investigator, Allan Corbeil, Technology Service Corporation
Technical Monitor, Eldon L. Jacobson

This research was needed to determine via a feasibility study if a hilltop mounted radar installation is feasible for monitoring traffic on I-5 and I-205 between Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR. The hope is that this one installation could take the place of the more traditional vehicle detection methods (loop, video, or radar detectors). The traditional methods need to be installed about every half mile on the freeway.

This research project determined that it is feasible to build radar to “see” the traffic. Unfortunately, it appears at this time that the cost to make a complete operational system is too high. WSDOT Traffic Engineers will use this research in traffic management and detection.

This project advanced the state of the practice in traffic detection. It provided a basic understanding of the feasibility and concept of a new type of vehicle detection. At this time, further investments are needed to determine if hilltop radar is more cost effective than traditional vehicle detection methods.

Results achieved
through this research

Items/Actions needed to implement results


Knowledge to assist WSDOT


Management decision

Manual change




Policy development or change


Development of software/computer application

Information technology deployment


Development of new process


Information sharing

Additional research needed

Other (specify)

Project produced no usable results

Other (describe)