Virginia to begin work on new I-66 traffic management system

A typical moment on I-66. (Katherine Frey — The Washington Post)

Virginia has long planned to smarten up Interstate 66, a roadway that manages to stand out in an area noted for congested roads.

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) announced that installation of a $34 million “active traffic management” system would begin this spring on 34 miles of I-66 that stretch from Gainesville to D.C. Construction will be complete in early 2015, according to state officials.

These programs have had some success in Europe and on the West Coast, as Dr. Gridlock previously noted when discussing Virginia’s plans.

The new system is meant to give drivers more information on accidents, delays and projected travel times. Virginia’s program would rely upon a combination of automated tools and personnel. Speed-measuring sensors and traffic cameras would be added to provide more up-to-date information, which drivers would see on electronic message signs.

When the new system is complete, it will also include new shoulder and lane control signs. In addition, the timing of ramp meters at entrances to I-66 would also be changed so that it changes depending on the volume of traffic.

“This new system will provide motorists with information that shows what lies ahead along their commute, helping them make more informed travel decisions,” Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton said in a statement Tuesday.

Work on I-66 will begin in the spring with the construction of six areas for vehicles to pull off the road in case of emergencies.

Read this story for more on Virginia’s plans for I-66.

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.

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Mark Berman · February 26, 2013

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