Given the anticipated increases in highway traffic, the scale and complexity of the traffic infrastructure will continue to
grow progressively in time and in distributed geographical areas. To assure transportation efficiency, safety, and
security in the presence of such growth, it is critical to identify an infrastructure development methodology that can
adapt to expansions while assuring reliable operation for both centralized monitoring and distributed management. In
this paper, a wireless sensor network design methodology is presented, aimed at providing effective distributed
surveillance, anomaly detection, and coordinated response. The proposed methodology integrates state-of-the-art traffic
sensors, with flexibly programmable controller devices that can integrate with the available traffic control equipments.
The system methodology provides a paradigm in which sensors and controllers can be progressively incorporated and
programmed to autonomously coordinate with peer sensors and a hierarchy of controllers to detect, notify, and react to
anomalous events. Since the system can tolerate failure of parts of the system, as the network connectivity continues to
increase, the proposed sensor network will have positive implications on evacuation plans during natural disasters or
terrorist attacks. To illustrate the design methodology and usage, a simulated system along a freeway corridor in South
Carolina was constructed in an integrated microscopic traffic and wireless sensor network simulation platform, in which
distributed incident detection and response functions were implemented. The test results, including detection and false
alarm rates and wireless communication latencies, are analyzed to identify insights of the system's operation and
potential enhancement strategies.