The Bridge Management System (BMS) gives advice to bridge and lock operators. It combines information from various sources to optimize the bridge opening schedule. Bridge openings are adjusted to facilitate road and waterborne traffic, making it possible to realize significant reductions in the number of vehicle hours lost. Thanks to cooperation between a whole range of parties, information in the BMS is always up to date.
Bridge opening advice
The BMS, the current version of which was fully developed by Technolution, issues advice on bridge or lock opening times to optimally facilitate the passage of vessels and road traffic. It does this on the basis of transport priorities. Thus road traffic has higher priority during rush hour, and inland waterways at other times, while approaching ambulances or other emergency services always have the highest priority. In the latter case, a mandatory recommendation is given not to operate the bridge so that the emergency vehicle in question can pass without hindrance. In other cases bridge operators can decide themselves whether or not to follow the recommendation issued. The priority model gives operators the choice of assigning different priorities at different times.
Added value through cooperation
The great strength of the BMS is that it is connected to a large number of supplier and client systems. As all parties involved keep the BMS and its connected systems up to date with the latest data, the BMS is able to base its recommendations on the latest information, for instance skippers’ timetables, emergency services’ alarms, messages to vessels, and the position of buses. All these parties and systems – and there are more – work together to make the BMS successful.
In addition to the advice it offers, the system also provides a range of support functionalities for bridge and lock operators. Thus the passage of vessels and their direction of travel is registered in the BMS, so that operators of bridges and locks further down the route can also see this information. Delays and comments can be added and inspection reports completed so that users can see immediately what has happened at various objects during a particular shift. In addition, the system supplies bridge and lock operators with information about weather conditions, positions, and vessels’ expected times of arrival, as well as waterway works near the bridge.
Efficient coordination with other systems
Giving priority to road traffic at certain times can mean longer waiting times for vessels. Conversely, vessels can get a ‘blue wave’ from open bridges along their route, which ensures that bridges on a particular route open consecutively, giving vessels uninterrupted passage.
The BMS also supplies information to other systems through BGV (‘Blauwe Golf Verbindend’): for instance data on where and when bridges will open. Other services can then use this as input. Thus traffic control centers that use MobiMaestro can use DRIPs to inform road traffic that a certain bridge is about to open, and propose an optional alternative route. Or websites or apps for skippers could show all planned openings.