ADT won with the low bid and was awarded the project, but a technical problem with the bond submittal led to the project going back to bid again. Four companies bid and ADT was awarded the project for a second time. The bid called for the work to be completed within 55 days of the start date in January 2009.
As work began, there were already seven analog cameras in place around the train platform and the ticket office. According to the specifications, they were to remain a part of the security system, along with 40 new IP-based cameras. An encoder was added to allow the analog cameras to work with a new IP-based video management system from DVTel.
In addition to the new cameras and video management system, the plan called for video analytics to provide alarms for unusual behavior or items left behind on the platform and/or tracks. The plan specified 120TB of storage capacity, enough to store months’ worth of video from the cameras. That large storage capacity would give the OCTA or law enforcement officials the ability to retrieve video for liability matters — such as a slip and fall, investigation of criminal activities or even to check for operational issues.
Video from the cameras was to be monitored by a private guard service in a small control center located in the station, while a 10GB fiber cable has ample capability to permit the quick streaming of live video to the Irvine Police headquarters located seven miles away in City Hall.
But before camera installation could begin, the ADT team had to pull cable through the garage. That was made easier since the structure had been designed and built with integrated conduits running to potential camera mount positions. However, not all conduits were positioned for optimal camera placement, so there was additional conduit extension work required.
The 40 IP cameras are a mix of fixed and pan-tilt-zoom units placed throughout the interior and exterior of the parking garage. Some cameras monitor the 16 Code Blue call stations provided for emergency assistance and are situated at the bottom of stairwells on each level of the structure. During normal activity, these cameras record at seven frames per second. When a Code Blue station is activated, the cameras are programmed to record at 15 frames per second to provide a better live view and recording of emergency situations.
As the installation of the security equipment was underway, the city approached ADT asking for help with an unexpected problem. It seems that nearly 7,000 square feet of retail space being finished out adjacent to the garage was attracting a large number of skateboarders. It was time-consuming for the private guard service to regularly check on the area. ADT’s answer was two more cameras — one fixed lens and the other a pan-tilt-zoom — to monitor the site and provide video to the station’s security center. That way, a guard was dispatched only when skateboarders were present.
One of the tougher problems to solve was the coordination of the video analytics linked to four cameras monitoring the train platform and adjacent tracks.
“We spotted a potential problem even before we began work,” says Slaman. “We were concerned that the angle of the cameras wouldn’t allow for the analytics to provide good information regarding movement on the platform or tracks. The way the existing cameras were positioned, some areas of the platform were masked, some areas were not covered at all and late afternoon sunlight could obscure the view of west-facing cameras.”
The answer for this problem was using the pedestrian bridge over the tracks as the base for additional cameras — one looking straight down on the tracks, a second camera viewing the eastbound track and two more monitoring the westbound track. By mounting the cameras underneath the overpass, problems with the sun were resolved and the location was better for overall views of the area. With this configuration, the analytics worked well.
This change added to the total cost of the project, but OCTA officials agreed it was the best way to resolve the problem. The other four cameras called for in the original plans stayed in the project, but now serving without the analytics.