Based on data from Florida DOT, the initial costs of a CCTV video camera site ranges from $16,550 to $27,550. Pole height, site spacing, and other design and maintenance issues factor into the life cycle costs.

25 November 2003
Florida,United States

Summary Information

This white paper includes an examination of design factors for closed-circuit television (CCTV) video camera sites and how the design and maintenance issues impact the life cycle costs. Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) reviewed studies on this subject and collected information from similar projects in other states. Pole height and effect on camera system performance, site placement and spacing, coverage area, environmental impacts and use of camera lowering devices are detailed in the report.

The costs of several alternatives based on pole height and mounting with/without camera lowering devices are compared in the report. The table below detailing surveillance camera site cost data is excerpted from the report. The camera system consists of the camera assembly ($3,500), encoder ($4,000)1, and Ethernet switch ($2,000)1 for a total cost of $9,500. The fiber cost per site is $1,550 and includes: fiber optic splicing ($950), fiber optic termination ($300), and fiber optic drop and FDU ($300).

Alternative 1: 47-Foot Mounting Height with no CLD
Alternative 2: 50-Foot Mounting Height with CLD
Alternative 3: 60-Foot Mounting Height with CLD
Alternative 4: 70-Foot Mounting Height with CLD
Camera System
Camera Pole
$3,000 2
Camera Lowering Device
Fiber Connection
Pole Site Installation
Per Camera Site Installed Cost

A simple life cycle cost comparison of each alternative was developed for a 10-mile highway segment using a 7-year project life (see table below). The useful life of a camera system is 7 years and for the camera lowering device an average of 25 years. The life cycle cost was calculated to correspond with the camera lifetime of 7 years. The report notes that the analysis is conservative and based on average costs provided by FDOT Districts. Additionally, the project calculations did not consider the time value of money, or consider quantifying user delays due to lane closure during maintenance.
Alternative 1: 47-Foot Mounting Height with no CLD at ½-mile Intervals
Alternative 2: 50-Foot Mounting Height with CLD at ½-mile Intervals
Alternative 3: 60-Foot Mounting Height with CLD at ⅔-mile Intervals
Alternative 4: 70-Foot Mounting Height with CLD at ¾-mile Intervals
Site Density
Initial Site Cost Each
Total Project Initial Costs
Annual Maintenance Per Site
Total Maintenance, 7 Years
Total 7-Year Life Cycle Costs

As can be seen in the above table, the overall life cycle cost for the 70-foot mounting height is the lowest although the individual initial cost per camera site is the greatest. The cost savings are found in the fewer number of sites gained through the use of greater pole height, and in the use of camera lowering device.

1 Source: Palm Beach County Contracting Pricing, Jack Hoffman.
2 Source: District 1, Peter Vega.
3 Based on ½-mile intervals as typical spacing for this mounting height as cited in various state DOT projects.
4 Information obtained from Transcore for seven FDOT Districts and District 2 separately.
5 Information obtained from American Dynamics; Transcore; Beaufort County; Mississippi; and Blackhawk Enterprises.

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Design Criteria: Pole Heights and Location for Video Surveillance Systems

Author: Jones, David L., Arun Krishnamurthy, and Dave Hodges

Published By: Florida DOT

Prepared by the Florida DOT, ITS Office, Version 1

Source Date: 25 November 2003


System Cost

Camera site, initial costs: $16,550 to $27,550.

Camera system, life cycle costs: $403,650 to $835,000.


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CCTV, closed circuit television cameras, road monitoring, camera imaging, sensors, vehicle detector, traffic detection, traffic monitoring, congestion monitoring

Cost ID: 2004-00077