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City of Columbus completes HNTB-supported Smart Columbus program

City of Columbus completes HNTB-supported Smart Columbus program

HNTB performed multiple services over five-year program including project management, systems engineering and performance measurement

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The City of Columbus recently completed its five-year Smart Columbus program which aimed to demonstrate how an intelligent transportation system and equitable access to transportation can have positive impacts on everyday challenges faced by cities. HNTB was part of the Smart Columbus team from its early stages, supporting the city in developing its winning final application for the $40 million U.S. DOT Smart City Challenge. After winning the challenge, the city awarded HNTB a four-year ITS program management and program initialization contract to help deliver Smart Columbus.

“The Smart Columbus program proved to be a springboard to innovation,” said Diane Newton, HNTB program manager. “We saw community leaders rally around Columbus’ emergence as a smart city. Also, the project created a replicable playbook that other cities may build upon to have similar effects across the nation. HNTB was honored to play a crucial role in the success of the Smart Columbus program. Our team looks forward to applying lessons learned to assist other clients with intelligent transportation system, connected and automated vehicle and emerging mobility projects and integrating them into their operations.”

Over the course of the project, HNTB filled many roles and services for the City of Columbus as part of the Smart Columbus program including project management (scope, schedule, budget, risk); systems engineering (concept to design); installation planning and communications; development of the operating system; performance measurement; policy, coordination and communications (local, state, federal partners); and data management and privacy.

“HNTB and its key subconsultants became partners in the delivery of a cutting-edge program,” said Mandy K. Bishop, Smart Columbus program manager. “We valued their experience, broad industry perspective and counsel throughout the program. They served as delivery specialists and key advisors that helped city personnel operationalize our values like equity and access through the delivery of emerging transportation technology.”

Smart Columbus program successes include Ohio’s first automated vehicle deployment on public streets; a multimodal transportation planning app that has been downloaded more than 1,000 times; improvements to a parking management app that has been downloaded more than 30,000 times; and an operating system that is built largely on open-source software, and it is easy and cost-effective for other cities to implement.

“Five of the eight projects will continue after the Smart City Challenge funding ended on May 31, 2021, proving the value of these projects to residents and their efficiencies for local government,” Newton said. “Looking back at what was achieved, empowering residents to live their best lives is at the top of the list.”

The Smart Columbus program was led by the City of Columbus in partnership with The Columbus Partnership, the Ohio Department of Transportation, Franklin County Commissioners, Franklin County Engineer’s Office, The Ohio State University, American Electric Power and many others.