I-66 to get new digital signs, traffic management

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Local,Virginia,Transportation,Liz Essley,Metro and Traffic

Commuters stuck in traffic on Virginia's Interstate 66 soon will have a better estimate of how late they'll be to work.

Virginia will begin installing electronic signs and other devices this spring in an attempt to speed up traffic and give drivers more information along I-66, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Tuesday.

Virginia's new $34 million "active traffic management system" on I-66 will stretch 34 miles from the D.C. border to Gainesville. The system will monitor traffic through cameras and vehicle sensors, and use that information to direct drivers to use shoulder lanes or adjust speed limits around work zones or accidents, Virginia officials said. The electronic signs also will warn of long lines for exits and display expected travel times.

"The [traffic management] system will continuously monitor traffic and road conditions using technology such as vehicle-detection sensors and closed-circuit television cameras," Virginia's Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton said. "This new system will provide motorists with information that shows what lies ahead along their commute, helping them make more informed travel decisions."

The new system will also include six emergency pull-off areas along the highway, officials said.

Pennsylvania company TransCore will design and build the system and is expected to finish in early 2015.

lessley@washingtonexaminer.com

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