Del.1 toll plaza software glitch causes traffic crunch : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Del. 1 toll plaza software glitch causes traffic crunch Biddles Corner collectors couldn't sign on to computer

By CHIP GUY Staff reporter 11/19/99

Motorists using Del. 1 had a longer-than-expected trip through the Biddles Corner toll plaza Thursday morning.

Some toll collectors were unable to sign on to the computer system at the 14-lane plaza about 7 a.m., during the morning rush hour.

That kept some booths closed, and backed up traffic in both directions for at least a half-hour, according to reports.

State police spokesman Cpl. Walter Newton said the traffic jam in the north lanes stretched at least a half-mile.

"At one point, we had two [toll collectors] on in each direction instead of four,'' said Michele Ackles, a spokeswoman with the state Department of Transportation. "We've obviously had people out working on the software, and it appears everything should be OK ... for morning."

Thursday's glitch was not the first problem at the plaza since DelDOT began collecting the $1 tolls Wednesday afternoon.

An hour after it opened, the plaza nearly ran out of E-ZPass transponders. The units, part of an electronic toll collection system, are mounted in a customer's vehicle and transmit a signal when the vehicle enters or exits the limited-access highway.

Officials scrambled to bring in additional units from the I-95 toll plaza near Newark and the Del. 1 toll plaza in Dover.

"I think the demand was greater than we anticipated," Ackles said. She said about 700 E-ZPass units have been sold in the past week.

Ackles said the traffic count on the new bypass around Odessa and Boyds Corner has been relatively high since the tolls went into effect.

In the first 24-hour period, nearly 26,000 cars and trucks used the new road, which bypasses U.S. 13. DelDOT expects about 30,000 vehicles to use the highway each day. Ackles said officials did not know how many vehicles have taken the old highway, U.S. 13, to avoid the tolls.

Some rush-hour tie-ups were reported on U.S. 13 where construction crews are rebuilding lanes.

Ackles said DelDOT should finish that work by Christmas.

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-- Homer Beanfang (, November 19, 1999


That is this reporter's REAL name?

-- eubie (, November 19, 1999.

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