I-405 Wireless Backhaul Solution

Category: Network Projects

Project Summary

2009 - 2014
The problem was getting internet to six field offices on time and under budget. The I405 project was one of the largest design-build projects at the time in the country. The project had an IPO (integrated project office) and six other field offices about 14 miles north of this office. All of the offices north had logistical issues getting internet. For example, the infrastructure was lacking due to a geographic location in the canyon or was over budget. As a solution and to save cost, I designed, configured, and managed a wireless backhaul network. The solution used line of sight microwave radio antennas from Ceragon Networks.

I used the IPO's MPLS circuit from the 7th floor and extended it to the roof via a fiber optic cable. I installed a 2' wireless microwave radio on top of the building. The wireless radio antenna, on our building, connected to the Pepperdine College antenna. This building was in the way for a line of sight to the field offices. On top of the Pepperdine building were three radio antennas. One connected to the IPO and two other radio antennas that point to the field offices.

The first radio antenna, on top of Pepperdine, was connected to the Los Angeles Veterans Hospital. We did not have power on the roof. I had to run POE ethernet to the roof from the Cergon switches. The hospital was connected to our Segment 1 office. Segment 1 was located off I405 and Wilshire Blvd. in the Caltrans yard. The second radio, on the hospital, was connected to our Exposition Yard.

The second radio, at Pepperdine College, was connected to the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy. This group of radio antennas on the mountain was unique because we had no power on the mountain. The way I solved this issue was by using solar panels and a battery bank. The Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy used three wireless radio antennas connected to field offices in the canyon. The first wireless antenna, connected to the Equipment Yard. This site was off of I405 and Getty Center Dr. This yard was responsible for all heavy equipment on the project. The second wireless antenna connected to Segment 2 and Utility Yard. These offices were off of Sepulveda Blvd about a mile north of the equipment yard. The third wireless radio antenna connected to the Segment 3 office which was located off of Sepulveda Blvd and Mission Dump Rd. This office was in charge of the last Segment of work on this project.

All the field offices listed above used the internet from the IPO, the local LAN, IPO servers, and the voice-over IP system through this wireless backhaul network. The estimated cost savings for the project was $250,000. The return on investment was accomplished by not having reoccurring MPLS internet costs, expensive routers, and other network equipment per field office. Each site just needed a Ceragon wireless microwave radio, layer-3 managed switch(s), and wireless access point(s).

The coordination of all these agencies and technologies was truly a great contributor to the success of the I405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project.

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