New $34 Million Traffic Management System Coming to I-66
The high-tech system will span 34 miles of roadway along I-66, from the District of Columbia to Haymarket, Va.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Governor Bob McDonnell announced a new high-tech system coming to Virginia's I-66 that is meant to help reduce congestion through better communication with drivers and improved traffic flow via lane control signs.
The system, known as Active Traffic Management (ATM), is relatively new to American roadways, though it has been used on highways throughout Europe.
- Learn more about Virginia's AMT with the YouTube video in the media box to the right.
"Conditions on I-66 in Northern Virginia demand the deployment of this innovative technology and commuters will benefit from improved safety and increased communication during incidents and congestion," Governor Bob McDonnell said in a press release.
ATM systems continuously monitor traffic with high-tech tools like vehicle-detection sensors and closed-circuit television cameras. New lane signs will signal to drivers if there is congestion ahead and will provide dynamic speed limit reduction information as motorists approach work zones or accidents, according to a VDOT information sheet.
Another key component for I-66 drivers: The shoulder lanes will be opened to traffic as congestion builds, no matter the time of day or day of the week.
"This new system will provide motorists with information that shows what lies ahead along their commute, helping them make more informed travel decisions," Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton said in a press release.
ATM is already being used on four roadways in Washington State, the first state to use this new technology. According to the WSDOT website, ATM was successfully used during a January 2012 snow event to first alert drivers of the major snow storm on the way and then to reduce speed limits during the snow event.
In Virginia, the system will span 34 miles from DC to Haymarket and will separate the roadway into five distinct segments with specialized ATM strategies and technologies. The $34 million project will be funded largely with federal monies.
Construction is expected to begin this spring and to be complete by spring of 2015, according to VDOT.
Learn more from the VDOT ATM fact sheet.
Do you think this will help with congestion along I-66? Tell us in the comments below!