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VDOT to start high-tech traffic monitoring on I-66

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A high-tech traffic management system is being added to Interstate 66 to ease traffic congestion.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will begin construction on the active traffic management (ATM) system this spring. The $34 million system will be implemented on a 34-mile stretch of 66 from Washington, D.C., to Gainesville. Construction is expected to be complete in early 2015.

Dynamic messaging and lane control signs will inform drivers of incidents and delays, travel times and provide directions on merging traffic and usable lanes.

“Conditions on I-66 in Northern Virginia demand the deployment of this innovative technology, and commuters will benefit from improved safety and increased communications during incidents and congestion,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement.

The ATM system will monitor traffic and road conditions using technology such as vehicle-detection sensors and closed-circuit television cameras, according to Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton.

“This new system will provide motorists with information that shows what lies ahead along their commute, helping them make more informed travel decisions,” Connaughton said.

VDOT is using technology and lessons from ATM projects in Europe and Seattle to roll the effort out in phases.

This spring, construction will start with six emergency pull-off areas along the route. Dynamic message signs, ramp meters, sensors and new traffic cameras will be added throughout the region.

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