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New I-90 signs aim to help drivers

This map shows the locations of Interstate 90 electronic highway signs, which aim to help reduce collisions and keep traffic moving. They should all be operational this week. - Contributed photo
This map shows the locations of Interstate 90 electronic highway signs, which aim to help reduce collisions and keep traffic moving. They should all be operational this week.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Interstate 90 drivers heading eastbound near Mercer Island have more real-time information available from 36 new electronic highway signs.

The signs are part of the Active Traffic Management system to reduce collisions and keep traffic moving on I-90.

Approximately 60 percent of the collisions on I-90 are congestion-related.

The signs were made operational earlier on two other key commuting routes: Interstate 5 and State Route 520.

“The growing demands on our transportation system mean we have to meet the challenge using every tool we can,” said Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “We’re using this technology to operate the system efficiently and make the best use of existing lanes by reducing crashes that cause more congestion.”

There are 289 variable speed-limit, lane-status and message signs now working on I-5, I-90 and SR-520.

The system uses the overhead lane signs to alert drivers to reduce their speed or change lanes when lanes ahead are blocked or closed. This helps reduce last-minute lane changes and panic braking, primary factors contributing to collisions.

Since the system began operating in August 2010 on northbound I-5 between the Boeing Access Road and I-90, reported collisions in that section have steadily decreased.

The last three months of 2011 have one of the lowest collision rates in the past four years.

Collision data for SR-520 and I-90 is still in the early stages of study since construction work and tolling must be factored into the analysis.

Learn more

To learn more about the signs and other local projects the WSDOT is working on, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov.

 

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