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The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT-DOT) monitors over 500 miles of roads within the state. In their operations center, CT-DOT personnel serve the nearly four million Connecticut residents by detecting roadway incidents, verifying potential issues, notifying the public, and responding to situations that require assistance. As the eyes and ears of the Connecticut roadway systems, keeping drivers and passengers safe is CT-DOT’s number one goal, and it’s all managed from their continuous use operations center located in Newington, Connecticut.

Ensuring the public’s safety is no easy task. CT-DOT operators must be able to monitor and react to a situation at a moment’s notice. Doing so requires focus as well as seamless communication internally and with the public.

In 2017, CT-DOT staff realized their 20-year-old operations center was in need of an upgrade. Their space was becoming outdated and did not address their operators changing needs. Efficient monitoring and communications are dependent on many factors, including having the right operations center.

A New Operations Center

While a new operations center was needed, it was imperative that work was not disrupted. The solution came when a space within their building opened up. When the neighboring daycare moved out, CT-DOT saw an opportunity to expand.

“Our plan was to renovate the former daycare facility space into a new continuous use operations center,” said Richard Launder, Transportation Engineer 3. “Once complete, we would move the team into the new location, eliminate any downtime caused by construction.”

Once a location was identified, CT-DOT began reviewing their console furniture needs. Using their “Systems Engineering Approach”, a process that ensures internal teams have their needs met, CT-DOT gathered user-based feedback from operators and management. They identified that their new operations center consoles needed to be spacious, durable, ergonomic, easy to move throughout, and configured to optimize space.

“After researching control room solutions that would meet our needs, we turned to industry leaders, Winsted Corporation,” continued Richard.

Since its inception in 1963, Winsted has been a pioneer in product design and development. Product concepts and designs are driven by industry needs and demands. Winsted offered CT-DOT a number of consoles and workstations that what would allow for comfort and optimized workspace for 24/7 continuous use.

The solution they developed to meet these needs is Winsted Ascend Sit/Stand Consoles. Ascend furniture features electric-lift legs with three programmable height settings, allowing operators to alternate between sitting and standing with the push of a button. Ergonomic improvements in the workplace result in greater comfort and improve the performance of operators monitoring complex systems. By changing positions throughout the day, Ascend Sit/Stand consoles helps operators minimize physical stress and fatigue in their technical environment. 

An Efficient Control Room

Working directly with Winsted staff, a new floorplan was designed that comfortably fit eight CT-DOT operators at individual semi-circle stations. The new layout provided ample comfortable workspaces. With the ‘U’ shaped desks, operators can increase efficiency, managing multiple computers at once by simply swiveling their chair. The Ascend Sit/Stand consoles also provide operators with the freedom of movement, to either stand or sit position, to increase energy and reduce fatigue. Furthermore, the Ascend Sit/Stand Console, was specifically built for continuous use, ensuring the new CT-DOT operation center could stand the test of time.

“From design to installation, our work with Winsted went very smoothly,” said Anthony Colangelo, Transportation Engineer 3. “Within days the Winsted team built to specification all consoles within the operations center.”

With Winsted consoles, CT-DOT operators have been able to ensure effective and efficient monitoring and communications; working to detect, verify, notifying, and respond to roadway incidents that pose a risk to the Connecticut public.

“Working with Winsted, we were able to develop an operation center that surpassed our expectations,” said Anthony. “Our team of operators is really enjoying the new space”.

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