AUSTIN – As summer travel gets underway, 27 dynamic message signs are being commissioned along I-35 and other roadways around Austin. The permanent signs are connected to the Combined Transportation Emergency and Communications Center (CTECC) through a fiber optic communications network. The dynamic message signs will alert drivers to incidents ahead, ramp or lane restrictions, upcoming construction and other important information about current or future highway conditions.
"With I-35 in central Texas being one of the most congested highways in Texas, we have to keep looking for ways to manage traffic throughout this corridor," said Terry McCoy, Austin District Engineer. "Knowing there is no one single strategy to reduce traffic by itself, we're taking an 'everything including the kitchen sink' approach to improve mobility and communication on I-35."
Besides providing drivers with incident information and lane restrictions, dynamic message signs are used to convey other types of information from time to time, such as highway travel times to certain locations or Amber Alerts that are determined and controlled by the Department of Public Safety. The signs often display pre-set messages stored in the system, as well as specific messages based on current conditions. The dynamic message signs are being paid for by the Texas Clear Lanes Initiative, a strategic plan to address the state's most congested chokepoints.
In addition to the signs, there are now 40 active traffic cameras in the capital region. Some of them work in conjunction with the "smart work zone" system, which features real-time travel information, as well as message signs to help drivers be aware of the impacts of highway construction.
These new signs and traffic cameras are part of TxDOT’s Traffic Management System (TMS). The system uses technology solutions to reduce congestion and improve safety during and after construction. TMS provides drivers with reliable, real-time data to allow them to make better travel decisions considering routes, travel modes, and timing of trips, which increases reliability of the overall transportation network.
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. Through collaboration and leadership, we deliver a safe, reliable, and integrated transportation system that enables the movement of people and goods. Find out more at TxDOT.gov. "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.