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CDOT, State Patrol enter 4th year of partnership to monitor state’s roads, highways

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- Drivers may not realize the resources available to help keep them safe on roads and highways, and to help authorities respond sooner to emergencies.

A key resource is the Joint Operations Center that opened in 2018 on the north end of Pueblo, in which the Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado Department of Transportation have new adjacent offices.

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But the partnership does't end there.

Both agencies work side-by-side in the center to monitor traffic conditions, road conditions, weather impacts and emergencies 24 hours a day.

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The center employs three CSP dispatchers and up to four CDOT employees who monitor real-time cameras showing on ten video screens and dozens of additional computer screens.

“Right now, I have about 18 apps open, so I can bounce between them and the weather channels, the safety patrol, my internal notifications, email, even Twitter," said Cary Parmenter, one of CDOT's traffic operators.

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The team-up allows each agency to catch what the other might miss, and gather more detailed information to post on CDOT's website or roadside message boards, and to aid authorities in responding to emergency situations.

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CDOT has several operations centers in the metro Denver region but the Pueblo center is the only one where the CSP and CDOT work closely together.

The team-up is particularly an asset during winter storms.

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"Previously, we weren't in the same room," said Michelle Peulen, CDOT spokesperson. "We had to pick up the phone, send an email -- which is valuable time. Here, our dispatchers are just a partition apart. So they can just reach across, and we can talk to each other, share information and dispatch resources sooner."

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Peulen said that both agencies hope to eventually use the same collaborative effort in existing and future traffic centers.

Article Topic Follows: News

Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

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